Making the Smart Grid Work for Community Energy Delivery
Many municipal and community owned electrical distribution systems are under pressure to demonstrate progress towards attaining energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Fueled by general public interest, and a strong environmental and vendor lobby the “Smart Grid” has become a rallying point for attaining triple bottom line goals for utility departments. While larger distribution systems have the means to pursue more visible initiatives, smaller and mid-tier municipalities are challenged with the reality that conservation and sustainability is expensive, and may in fact be beyond their means. This paper presents the experiences of several small to mid-tier municipal or community owned electrical systems in realizing their conservation and sustainability goals through the implementation of a “Smart Grid”. The approaches used by these energy distributors, as well as, their lessons learned should serve as both an example and good starting point for others embarking on a Smart Grid initiative.