North Carolina’s electric utilities are modernizing their power generation and distribution systems. This transformation of our electric grid offers improved performance and growth opportunities for North Carolina citizens, communities and businesses. The modernization projects are taking place while the grid is in full operation and filling its critical role in our society. This site provides you with education and guidance on where to find more information on North Carolina’s smart grid efforts.
What is Smart Grid?
Before we jump into “smart grid,” let’s talk about the “grid.” The grid is a system of wires, switches and other equipment that brings electricity from where it is generated to where it is needed. The term “grid” may bring thoughts of organization and pattern, however the electric grid is a complex system with hundreds of thousands of miles of transmission and distribution lines across the United States.
Source: North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives
A smart grid integrates new technologies and communication networks with the current power grid to benefit electricity customers, their communities and their power company. Electric companies have already started to install elements of the smart grid across North Carolina. Smart grid can mean many things to many people. For example, new generation, distribution controls, self-optimization, microgrids, communication equipment and smart meters can all be part of a smart grid system. Different utilities may focus on certain technologies first, or address all at once if appropriate.
Source: Duke Energy
Organizing all of the smart grid information and opportunities can be a large challenge. In general, however, most of the smart grid topics fall into three categories: economic impacts, technology and policy. As smart grid changes are made to the current grid, benefits will be seen in customer value, economic growth, municipal readiness and community sustainability.
Smart Grid Case Studies
- Advanced Metering Infrastructure: Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation – PDF
- Advanced Metering Infrastructure: Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation – Video
- Microgrids – Duke Energy Carolinas – PDF
- Glossary of Energy and Smart Grid Terms
- North Carolina Solar and Agriculture: A report from the NC Sustainable Energy Association.
- Revisiting the California Duck Curve: A report from ScottMadden Management Consultants.
- Carolinas Energy Planning for the Future – Local Government Toolkit: Helps local officials learn about energy-specific programs and practices that can be implemented in order to improve air quality.
- DOE Introduction: The U.S. Department of Energy’s primers provide a broad overview of smart grid opportunities, technologies, and benefits.
- EPRI Integrated Grid: The Electric Power Research Institute shares smart grid project results and planning guidance.
- GridWise Alliance: The GridWise Alliance shares its national grid modernization rankings, regional workshop reports, and policy guidance.
- NRECA Demonstrations: The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and 23 cooperatives share findings from smart grid installations.
- Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative: The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative created the “Next Innovation” video and operates WhatIsSmartGrid.org, they also provide detailed information on smart meters.
- Integrated Energy Network: The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) created this website that provides details on smart grid components.
- 50 States of Grid Modernization: A 2017 quarter 1 report by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.
- 50 States of Grid Modernization: A 2017 quarter 2 report by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.
- Video: Microgrid System – Technology Powers Customers and Duke Energy
- Video: McAlpine Microgrid – A Distribution System Based Microgrid
- SEPA/EPRI Report: Microgrids – Expanding Applications Implementations and Business Structures
- The Microgrids Group at Berkeley Labs
- Smart Grid Basics Webinar – April 26, 2017
- Solar Power and Grid Integration Webinar – May 24, 2017
- Smart Meters and Advanced Metering Infrastructure – June 22, 2017
- Microgrids and Grid Resiliency – September 20, 2017
- Self-Optimizing Grid Technologies – October 24, 2017 – Registration Open
North Carolina Utilities
Visit your electric utility’s website to learn more about smart grid services they may offer.