Friday, March 20, 2009

FERC Publishes Proposed Policy for "Smart Grid"

All of the actors in the delivery of electricity to end consumers know that one key component of improving efficiency is development of a "smart grid," which allows consumers to monitor and manage their electricity costs.

In this regard, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has published a proposed policy statement and action plan that would help set the "rules of the road" for development of the Smart Grid.

The proposed policy statement seeks public comment on standards for four priority issues critical to the smooth functioning and operation of the Smart Grid. After weighing public comments, FERC plans to adopt a final policy statement providing guidance to the electric power industry on standards for:

1. Cyber security;
2. Communications among regional market operators, utilities, service providers and consumers; 3. Ensuring that the bulk power system operators have “wide-area situational awareness” with equipment that allows them to monitor and operate their systems; and
4. Coordinating operation of the bulk power system with new and emerging technologies for renewable resources, demand resources, electricity storage and electric transportation systems.

Utilities may seek to recover the costs of smart grid deployments that demonstrate system security and compliance with FERC-approved Reliability Standards and other criteria.

Comments on the proposed policy statement and action plan are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. For more information, clerk here.

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