Dear Grid, Get With the Times. Yours, Utilities

Energy efficiency isn’t just a term that should refer to appliances. At just about every point between its generation and end use, electricity is lost, comprising an entirely inefficient process. But never fear, there are a growing number of advocates for what’s been termed the “Smart Grid,” a more efficient, flexible, and modern electricity system:

(From Greenwire, subs. req’d)Smartgrid group touts enlistment of industry backers

The GridWise Alliance, a collection of public and private-sector groups that advocate modernizing the nation’s electric grid, has enlisted major new backers over the past several months as it lobbied for concessions in the recently passed energy bill.

Microsoft Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Alcatel-Lucent are among the big-ticket backers that have recently joined the group, the alliance announced today.


Other companies that have signed on, according to the Alliance: ABB, Aegis Technologies, Ambient Corp., Arcadian Networks, Autodesk, CMEA Ventures, Consumers Energy, ESRI, Energy-Insights, Serveron Corp., SmartSynch, Tollgrade Communications and the Utilities Telecom Council.

Lee Coogan, GridWise’s acting executive director, said today’s announcement reflects organizations that have joined GridWise to push for consideration in EPAct. The rapidly expanding group is now working to set priorities around major provisions of the bill: a push for new research and development around modernizing the electric grid, setting up an Energy Department-led advisory group on the issue, developing frameworks for interoperability amongst different parts of a new grid system, and encouraging states to implement new technologies.

— Kari M.

[JR: More on the smart grid in the weeks to come!]