Smart Grid Investment Grant program – progress update


Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 5, 2012 – The Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program in the United States is on track, with more than two-thirds of the allocated federal funds now having been expended, according to the latest progress report.

The SGIG projects were launched in early 2010, and all projects are expected to complete equipment installation in the 2013-2014 time frame. Data analysis and reporting is expected to be completed by 2015.

Under the SGIG program, over $3.4 billion in federal funds is being invested, via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in accelerating the deployment of smart grid technologies and systems. With matching funds from private sector resources, the total investment in the 99 selected SGIG projects will amount to around $7.8 billion.

As of June 30, the combined investments made totaled almost $4.33 billion. This includes $3.15 billion in AMI and customers system assets (80 projects), $0.949 billion in distribution assets (62 projects), and $0.228 billion in transmission assets (19 projects).

As of this date about 10.6 million smart meters had been installed and brought into operation. Of these approximately 287,000 are enrolled in time-based rate programs. In addition 5,000 in-home displays, 210,000 direct load control devices, 164,000 programmable controllable thermostats, and 220 smart appliances had been installed and were operational.

More than 400 phasor measurement units (PMUs) and 5,800 feeder switches were also deployed and operational.

Some of the project highlights are:

  • The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) is installing 1,500 automated circuit switches and sensors on 164 circuits. When nine tornados ripped through communities in April 2011, early in the project’s installation schedule, EPB used 123 of the smart switches that were in service to re”route power, avoiding 250 truck rolls and saving customers thousands of hours of outage time.
  • Talquin Electric Cooperative (TEC) in northern Florida has deployed smart meters that have already produced annual savings of more than $0.5 million by avoiding more than 13,000 truck rolls for service connections and disconnections and non-payment problems. The system also improves outage management and enables repair crews to be sent to precise locations where faults have occurred.
  • Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OGE) is implementing time-based rates and customer systems such as in-home displays, web portals, and programmable communicating thermostats to reduce peak demand, defer construction of new power plants, and save money on capital expenditures. Based on studies of about 6,000 customers, OGE is rolling out time-based rates to approximately 150,000 customers over the next several years to defer up to 210 MW of new power plant capacity.
  • The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) synchrophasor project involves 18 transmission owners in 14 states and is installing 341 PMUs and 62 phasor data concentrators. WECC estimates that the application of these devices will enable approximately 100 MW of additional capacity on the California-Oregon intertie. Approximately 14 percent of this equipment has been installed to date, and WECC is moving forward with development of applications, models, and tools for enabling grid operators to improve power flow management.