SMUD joins EPRI’s smart grid demonstration project


Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 18, 2011 – Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) SmartSacramento smart grid demonstration project has become the 13th host site project in EPRI’s seven-year international smart grid demonstration initiative.

This is likely the last host site in the initiative although there are some ongoing discussions with potential new utility collaborators that could propose a host site project within the next month.

SMUD’s demonstration is comprised of over 20 individual projects that will be implemented and evaluated over the next three years. These projects combine the implementation of existing, proven technologies along with the pilot testing and demonstration of several emerging smart grid technologies. The results of this project will be used to develop a long term plan for moving this smart grid forward. Where feasible, the individual project elements will be condensed into one or more focused areas to establish the interactive effects and to determine the full potential and associated costs of the smart grid.

TO date, SMUD has exceeded the 50 percent mark in smart meter installations with over 300,000 meters installed. The advanced metering infrastructure project is ahead of schedule with completion expected by the end of Q1 2012. SMUD’s distribution automation project is also progressing with eight of the 35 scheduled substations upgraded with SCADA and 90 circuits selected (of which 6 circuits will form the initial pilot) for imple¬mentation of conservation voltage reduction and volt/var opti¬mization. The first of three 100 kW TecoGen cogeneration units have been delivered for SMUD’s microgrid project and installation is scheduled for Q4 2011. The waste heat will be used to provide cooling (absorption chiller) and hot water.

The electric vehicle grid impact study is also moving forward with the design of experiments, charging simulator system design, identi¬fication of infrastructure under “stress” and battery procurement. Delivery of the programmable load bank and assembly of simula¬tor hardware will occur during Q4 2011 and testing is scheduled to begin January 2012. Customer participation agreements are in the process of being signed for the residential energy storage demonstration at the Anatolia Solar Smart community as well.

Three year project update
According to the EPRI’s recent “Three year update” on the demonstration initiative, most of the projects are now transitioning from the planning phases into the deployment phases.  

In the current year the top strategic topics that are under consideration are conservation voltage reduction (CVR) and volt/var optimization, DMS integration and visualization, energy storage monetization, and consumer behavior and engagement, while the secondary topics include cyber security, electric vehicle charging, modeling and simulation tools.

The initiative is a seven-year international collaborative research demonstrat¬ing the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) in grid and market operations to create a “virtual power plant.”