National Grid enters next phase of important smart grid pilot



Quick Take:  National Grid has completed the installation of nearly 15,000 smart meters for its two-year smart grid pilot in Worcester, MA, according to the News Telegram.


We have previously reported on several innovative aspects of the pilot, including its community engagement techniques and its Worcester-based Sustainability Hub.


The pilot continues to be an valuable one to watch. With the smart meter installation complete, the utility will now begin rolling out some interesting new applications and tests. For one thing, it will experiment with digital picture frames as a way to display energy usage and costs in homes. It will also test smart thermostats and pricing options. The pilot is part of the $462 million National Grid invested in electric and gas infrastructure in 2013 in the state of Massachusetts (see below). - Jesse Berst



Company Invested $462 Million in Massachusetts Natural Gas and Electric Infrastructure in 2013


February 11, 2014 - To continue providing its customers with the most reliable service possible, especially as a changing climate increases the number and severity of extreme weather events, National Grid made a $462 million investment to enhance the resiliency, efficiency and safety of its Massachusetts infrastructure in 2013. This total includes $172 million in electric infrastructure investment and $290 million for natural gas infrastructure.


"We constantly reinvest in our gas and electric systems to ensure the power stays on and gas is delivered to our customers reliably and safely,” said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. "As our network and our customers' expectations continue to evolve, we anticipate even more opportunities for our company to invest in new technologies and new energy sources, creating new Massachusetts jobs in the process.”


The $172 million electric infrastructure investment included replacing more than 6,500 utility poles, 4,000 transformers and thousands of other pieces of equipment around the state, as well as long-term projects to enhance the reliability of service for National Grid’s 1.3 million electric customers in Massachusetts. For example, among dozens of other projects completed in 2013, the company added a new power cable and upgraded existing supply lines serving Cape Ann to improve electric service resiliency for customers in Essex, Hamilton, Rockport and Wenham.

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