Sacramento smart grid partners receive funding
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and its smart grid partners, Sacramento State, Los Rios and the Department of General Services received good news Oct. 27 when Congresswoman Doris Matsui announced $127 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for the project.
Smart grid is a joint venture to incorporate digital technology to reduce electricity costs by providing more efficient energy delivery that will empower consumers to make good choices about energy usage.
“During the high-cost peak usage periods, utility companies can reduce demand by communicating with consumers through smart devices in homes and business,” said Emir Jose Macari, dean of Sacramento State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Load switches can control large energy-consuming devices such as water heaters so they use electricity when it is abundant and cheaper to produce. In the future, all household and industrial appliances will be manufactured with communication capabilities so consumers can control and program them through a hand-held device”.
The ARRA funding will help SMUD install a regional smart grid system that includes 600,000 smart meters and 50,000 demand response controls such as programmable smart thermostats and home energy management systems.
"The fact that the Department of Energy plans to fully fund our request is the strongest possible validation of the proposal we put together with our partners in this project,” said SMUD general manager and CEO John DiStasio.
Sacramento State is home to the California Smart Grid Center which will oversee the installation of smart grid technology in buildings on campus and has developed curriculum to educate engineering and computer science students interested in smart grid careers.
"This grant will help make Sacramento State a 'smart campus' by modernizing about 50 of our buildings. It will also leverage the talents of our University's students and faculty and strengthen the Sacramento region's position at the cutting edge of technology," said Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez.