Bonneville Power seeks additional smart grid partners


Mike Weedall,
of energy efficiency
Portland, OR, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 18, 2009 – The Bonneville Power Administration is issuing a request for information for vendors interested in partnering on a regional smart grid demonstration project. This is the second request BPA has issued for the project, the first focusing on identifying interested utilities.

BPA has initiated the request for information because of the possibility of obtaining stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for smart grid demonstration projects.

“Collaboration is key for this project,” says BPA vice president of energy efficiency Mike Weedall. “We are working to finalize which utilities will participate in a proposal to DOE, and now we need to get other types of partners on board. We’re looking for manufacturers, hi-tech companies and other stakeholders to commit to capital investments and matching fund contributions for long term smart grid success.”

BPA worked on smart grid technologies a decade ago, before they were even called smart grid. In 2006, BPA partnered with DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to advance the technology through the Olympic Peninsula GridWise Demonstration project. These activities showed that smart grid can help meet increasing power demands, improve service and promote energy independence. Development of smart grid can also bring jobs to the Pacific Northwest.

In an April 14 workshop, the agency outlined its intention to partner with the region on a Smart Grid demonstration project and the need for potential partners to participate in planning and capital investments.

During a May 19 meeting, BPA will review the timelines and milestones for developing a project proposal, review proposed criteria for utility and vendor participation, review Smart Grid research goals, ask for input from stakeholders and answer questions.

BPA is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest.