The technology and gadgets we rely on today are much faster, more efficient and less costly than they once were. When cellular technology first debuted, the portable phone was expensive, clunky and required a battery in a bag in order to work – nothing like the smart phones in use today that fit in your pocket. This evolution of technology has occurred in every industry; the electric industry is no exception. And one thing is certain – tomorrow’s technology will be even faster, more efficient and more affordable.
The smart grid is a suite of customer programs and advanced technology initiatives that will transport us into a new era of energy delivery and customer service. Electric vehicles, smart appliances, energy storage and distributed solar generation are among the technologies being adapted and incorporated into our current infrastructure.
Smart grid programs can improve service quality and reliability, lower energy consumption, and offer additional customer benefits. The new technologies can help improve efficiency, identify and respond to outages more quickly, and better monitor and control operation of the distribution system. It can also provide customers with new and innovative programs and pricing options that allow them to monitor and control their own energy use, saving resources and money.
Additionally, the way our nation generates electricity is changing rapidly. Deployment of smart grid technology and transmission expansion may help us to address changes in generating capacity.