5 smart grid demonstration projects for your watch list
Who knew something called quantum cryptography could play a role in protecting the grid from cyber thugs? A team at Los Alamos National Lab says they've demonstrated the concept successfully. Scroll down for more on that, plus updates on smart grid demos focused on integrating renewables, assessing transactive control systems and bringing smart grid technologies into the real world.
Iberdrola is leading a three-year European initiative to study the impacts of integrating renewable energy on grids. The Spanish energy company launched the iGREENGrid project along with 11 of the main electricity distribution companies and research institutions in Europe, with the ultimate goal being to define and pool procedures, technological advances and best practices that will contribute towards increasing the capacity of electricity grids to receive distributed generation from renewable sources. Iberdrola points out that iGREENGrid reflects one of the most crucial lines of research in the area of smart grids due to the amount of renewables already connected to grids in Germany and France. Learn more >>
Duke Energy just won an award from POWERGRID International magazine and PennWell Corp. for a similar initiative. Its battery installation at a North Carolina substation was named Project of the Year for integrating renewable energy into the grid. At the Rankin Substation, a 402-kilowatt/282-kilowatt-hour sodium nickel chloride battery system is being used to smooth out large minute-by-minute peaks and valleys in production from a nearby 1.2-megawatt solar facility at a local industrial complex. "We have to explore every avenue to make sure the grid can handle the influx of more renewables," said Dan Sowder, Duke's senior project manager. "We want to see if a central battery installation at a substation can support the grid. In the future, there may be neighborhoods full of rooftop solar. We need to be ready for that." Learn more >>
Pacific NW Smart Grid Demonstration Project at a glance