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.

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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.

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Visit your electric utility’s website to learn more about smart grid services they may offer.