"Smart Grid" is a term used to describe a modernized electric transmission and distribution system — enabled by digital technology — that delivers detailed, real-time information about energy use to customers.
This advanced, state-of-the-art grid will allow utility companies and consumers to continuously monitor and adjust their electricity use, while providing a pricing and control system to flexibly integrate new renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power, energy storage devices and electric vehicles. A smarter grid also will help minimize interruptions in electrical service during storms and other routine power outages.
Progress Energy is already investing a planned $320 million in Smart Grid to enhance the electricity delivery system at the company’s two electric utilities: Progress Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Florida. If approved, the $200 million DOE grant would be shared equally on Smart Grid projects in the Carolinas and Florida and would advance additional Smart Grid investments.
"Smart Grid will enable us to enhance and improve service to our customers," said Bill Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of Progress Energy. "It will allow our customers ultimately to have more direct control of their energy use and their bill through pricing signals and pre-pay options. Leveraging this technology, Progress Energy will partner with our customers to help them manage their usage based on personal preferences and household needs. The end result will be improved system efficiencies, energy conservation and a cleaner environment."
Progress Energy is a fully integrated utility, so it can leverage the value Smart Grid offers all the way from its generating plants, across its transmission and distribution systems to its customers’ homes and businesses. The company maintains a network of about 11,000 miles of electric transmission lines and 100,000 miles of distribution lines across 54,000 square miles in the Carolinas and Florida.
"Smart Grid will enhance power quality and service reliability while helping us secure the energy future for our customers," Johnson said. "Our company is committed to a balanced solution strategy to meet the future energy needs of our customers at a time of rising energy costs and concerns about climate change. This balanced approach includes aggressive energy efficiency, investments in renewable and alternative energy, and state-of-the-art plants and facilities. The Smart Grid is a fundamental tool to help us meet these objectives."
IBM and Telvent are strategic partners with Progress Energy in pursuit of the DOE grant. IBM is supplying consulting, as well as optimization software and services for coordination and prioritization of advanced load shaping and efficiency.
Telvent is providing the Smart Grid’s distribution supervisory control and data-acquisition system (SCADA), which is capable of gathering real-time data, controlling devices interactively, and producing reports on equipment in distribution substations and on the grid. Telvent is also supplying the new distribution management system that will provide real-time energy information and lays the foundation for reliable integration for customer-owned distributed energy resources.
Progress Energy is investing in Smart Grid because the company recognizes that the electric grid of the future must engage broadly with customers, reacting to their energy consumption decisions and accommodating independent alternative supply and energy storage options.
"All of these new intelligent capabilities bring value, but also complexity," Johnson said. "The grid must be prepared for this evolving complexity and respond dynamically to these advanced, innovative capabilities."
About Progress Energy:
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 21,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve approximately 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute’s Edison Award, the industry’s highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder’s Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008.
Progress Energy (NYSE: www.progress-energy.com.
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Telvent is the global IT solutions and business information services provider that helps to improve the efficiency, safety and security of the world’s leading companies. Telvent serves markets that are critical to the sustainability of our planet, including the energy, transportation, agricultural and environmental sectors. (www.telvent.com)