The Department of Energy (DOE) selected a Pacific Northwest team including information services company 3TIER to conduct a regional smart-grid demonstration. The project will test new smart grid technologies including devices, software, and advanced analytical and forecasting tools that enhance the power grid’s reliability and performance. The Northwest study will involve more than 60,000 metered customers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
“Optimizing the energy supply-side of the smart grid equation, and renewable energy in particular, is absolutely critical to the long-term success of an efficient and smart national grid,” says 3TIER CEO Kenneth Westrick.
His company will provide wind and solar power forecasting for individual sites and for the region during the project. The company’s hour, day, and week ahead forecasts will be processed centrally as part of an integrated smart grid system. 3TIER is one of the largest forecasters of wind energy in the world, forecasting production for more than 16.5 GW of regional and 11.6 GW of project-specific installed capacity, including more than 30% of the installed capacity in North America.
“A key objective of a national smart grid infrastructure is to make the best possible use of renewable energy resources,” says Westrick. “Accurately forecasting weather-driven renewable energy provides signals the system needs to optimally integrate that energy into the grid, and dispatch other assets when production decreases. It is an essential component of an efficient and reliable smart grid system.”
The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project team combines energy providers, utilities, technology companies, and other research organizations. Total estimated cost for the project is $178 million. The DOE will provide half the funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project’s participants, primarily utilities, and industry team members including 3TIER, will provide the remaining funds. At its peak, the project could create about 1,500 total jobs in manufacturing, installation and operating smart grid equipment, telecommunications networks, software, and controls in the five states.
Filed Under: Policy