SDG&E outlines smart grid plan


James P. Avery,
Senior VP of Power
Supply, SDG&E
San Diego, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 8, 2011 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has filed a plan outlining its smart grid vision and providing a roadmap for how San Diego’s electricity grid will develop over the next decade and empower the utility’s customers with the latest technology and service choices.

According to SDG&E, customer choice is a potent driver of its smart grid deployment plan. For example, a growing number of customers are installing rooftop solar power systems on their homes, and San Diego has the highest number of installed residential systems of any city in California.

Further, the region is home to the greatest number of plug-in electric vehicles in the country, and will have significant growth in the coming months and years.

To build the capabilities required to realize smart grid benefits for customers and to meet the state’s energy policy goals, SDG&E has structured its portfolio of smart grid projects around nine specific program areas:

  • Customer empowerment, through ensuring that customers have the knowledge and information to make informed energy management decisions to maximize their energy value and to support their access to third party value added services and offerings while protecting their privacy
  • Renewable growth, through mitigating the impact of distributed and other intermittent energy sources by increasing measurement, control, and management capabilities
  • Electric vehicle growth, through deployment of new smart grid technologies in conjunction with traditional infrastructure upgrades to ensure the safe, reliable, and efficient integration of PEVs
  • Reliability and safety, through mitigating the challenges that intermittent resources and electric vehicles present to an aging electric infrastructure through implementation of advanced sensors and associated systems, and other capabilities that will improve employee and public safety
  • Security, through addressing the increased physical and cyber security risks and threats associated with smart grid system design, development, implementation, and operations
  • Operational efficiency, through leveraging existing and developing new capabilities to improve the efficiency of planning processes and system operations through remote monitoring and real time responsiveness enabled by the deployment of advanced sensors and management systems
  • Smart grid research, development and demonstration (RD&D), through researching new technologies, integrating emerging technology solutions, testing for interoperability and providing proof of concept demonstrations
  • Integrated and cross cutting systems, through deployment of systems in areas such as application platform development, data management and analytics and communications that support smart grid functionalities across multiple business units
  • Workforce development, through developing the current workforce and transitioning to a future workforce that will meet the unique requirements of smart grid through implementation of effective organizational change management and workforce planning.

“Our Smart Grid Deployment Plan details how we will allocate energy resources more efficiently and deploy new technology to give our customers a much greater level of control over their energy usage,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. “The plan offers a framework for discussion of our region’s energy future.”
SDG&E estimates the cost of smart grid deployments for the years 2006-2020 are approximately $3.5 to $3.6 billion – including previously authorized investments such as the smart meter and OpEx 20/20 programs, which together account for approximately 25 percent of the overall estimated costs – and the total benefits are estimated between $3.8 to 7.1 billion.

In developing the plan since late 2010, SDG&E has met with more than 25 stakeholder groups in the areas of environment, academia, business, customer advocacy and government to better understand their priorities and preferences related to the smart grid. Among these were the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), UC San Diego Office of Strategic Energy Initiatives, San Diego State University Center for Energy Studies, Smart City San Diego, CleanTECH San Diego, California Center for Sustainable Energy, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Information and Privacy Commissioner of the province of Ontario, Canada.