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With millions of dollars of federal stimulus money now in the hands of utilities and vendors to support smart grid initiatives around the U.S., project momentum is building. In this channel track smart grid projects, R&D efforts and find helpful expert resources.

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Smart grid hits and misses: a state by state close-up

Smart Grid, state smart grid toolkits, state stimulus money, state stimulus sites
Curious about smart grid projects in your state - or the state next door? We've just updated all 50 of our state smart grid toolkits. Each one is packed with energy-related projects, news and trends. You'll also find useful state-specific resources, including state energy agencies, utility and regulator listings, advocacy groups and incentive programs. Click inside to start your coast-to-coast tour.

Grid optimization toolkit

grid optimization, smart grid, Volt/VAR optimization, Volt/VAR control, grid optimization solutions
Smart meters may get most of the attention, but many would argue that grid optimization is how utilities and their customers are going to get the most bang for their buck. So what is grid optimization, and how do we bring it out of the smart grid closet? You'll find answers in our one-stop grid optimization toolkit, which is packed with the analysis, trends and resources you need to get up to speed.

Electric power transmission toolkit

ABB, electric power transmission, electric power transmission system, electric power transmission infrastructure, smart grid electric power transmission, smart grid
How are we going to turn our frail and neglected electric power transmission system into a secure and reliable smart grid? It’s a critical and timely issue, which is why we’ve loaded this toolkit with some of the best analysis, most-promising trends and smartest research relating to next steps in electric power transmission.

Smart grid funding: DOE, other agencies continue to invest in projects and R&D

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, smart grid R&D, DOE, smart grid investments
The era of billions in smart grid investment and demonstration grants may be gone, but DOE and other federal agencies continue to steadily invest in grid resilience and a more secure energy future. We take a look at some recent examples in a variety of technologies.

A very different kind of wave energy device (it operates well below the waves)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, marine energy, wave energy, renewable energy, research and development
Many industry observers see wave energy as a remote possibility, one of those “out there” technologies, if they consider it at all. However, several companies have quietly gone about their business building and testing a variety of devices to convert marine energy into electric power. Pete Danko of Breaking Energy shares one of the latest developments.

National laboratories team for much-needed distributed energy test bed

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid R&D, research and development, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Testing new technologies in a realistic setting is obviously the best way to ensure they will function properly at actual load levels, before they're integrated into the power grid. Click to learn about a distributed energy resources test bed developed by two national labs and how it will benefit both utilities and equipment manufacturers.

7 cutting edge resiliency technologies (New York is investigating them now)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid R&D, grid resiliency, outage management, energy, New York state
While superstorm Sandy is long gone, its harsh lessons remain fresh for the states affected by the devastation. New York recently funded seven research projects, most of them related to technologies for grid resilience, outage mitigation and improved energy efficiency, including microgrids.

DOE to beef up public access to its research (and it’s free)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid R&D, Department of Energy, DOE
In an effort to increase public access to its scientific research, the Energy Department has launched a web-based portal that will offer research publications and digital data. The Department says it hopes the move to make its research more readily available will support more innovation, commercial opportunities and accelerated scientific breakthroughs.

Home energy management systems get another chance (in Massachusetts)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home energy management, CEIVA, National Grid, smart grid research and development, Worcester, MA
While home energy management devices are nowhere near as popular as we expected them to be years ago, National Grid is going to make a go of it with CEIVA at its smart grid test bed project in Worcester, Massachusetts. Click to learn more about the project.

What we're learning from Europe's first campus-wide microgrid (think cogen)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, microgrids, combined heat and power, cogeneration, smart grid R&D, smart grid projects
Europe has taken microgrids on a different path with its first campus-wide system at Italy’s University of Genoa. It incorporates renewables and storage as American microgrids do, but also features cogeneration, a technology that’s far less common in the U.S. than it is in Europe. The project is worth following because there could be much to learn from it.

Grid-scale storage breakthrough? Flow batteries get new life

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, energy storage R&D, flow batteries, electric utilities
Today’s energy storage technologies aren’t all about lithium-based batteries. Much improved and more cost efficient next-generation flow batteries are attracting a lot of interest and investment. Here are two examples of the new technologies that could very well make it to the grid-scale energy storage market.

Checking in with Pecan Street’s latest project

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, energy management, customer engagement, Pecan Street
Austin’s Pecan Street, the community-scale test bed for smart grid technologies, has taken on a new project that could significantly change how we use electricity and monitor consumption. We thought you’d like to take a look at what they’re up to now.

Forget lead and lithium. How about grid-scale batteries based on... water?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage technologies, smart grid research and development
In an attempt to sidestep the disadvantages of today’s grid-scale energy storage technologies, researchers are developing a water-based battery that does not include expensive rare metals or toxic chemicals. The project is in its early phase, but an interesting one to follow.

DOE invests $33 million to develop fuel cell technology

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, fuel cells, DOE, distributed generation, smart grid projects
DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy is funding 13 projects focused on developing efficient intermediate-temperature fuel cell technology for distributed generation applications. Click to learn about three approaches developers will use and the state of fuel cell technology today.

Skim 7 years of smart grid progress in 6 minutes

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid initiatives, EPRI, electric utilities
Readers can learn a lot about how the smart grid has evolved just by watching a short video from EPRI. The video highlights the most important results of its Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative, and it can also be mined for ideas on how utilities can explain their own initiatives in an understandable way.

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