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Utilities, operators collaborate on electric grid efficiency project

A group of utilities and transmission systems operators affiliated with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are getting together to share information about "transmission efficiency."The goal of the collaborative is to analyze performance data from different grid projects in order to come up with a common framework around costs, benefits and technical needs associated with efficiency projects.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

A group of utilities and transmission systems operators affiliated with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are getting together to share information about "transmission efficiency."

The goal of the collaborative is to analyze performance data from different grid projects in order to come up with a common framework around costs, benefits and technical needs associated with efficiency projects. So, technically speaking, this isn't a smart grid initiative. The work here is really focused on the core transmission and power network, how to make it more powerful (so to speak) and more efficient.

The collaborative was inspired by efforts by EPRI, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and transmission operators. FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, in announcing the initiative, said: "The lessons learned by demonstrating real-life examples of transmission efficiency will help the industry to meet the Department of Energy's goal of improving grid efficiency by 40 percent by 2030. This would delive the twin benefits of increasing supply while reducing emissions."

For perspective, EPRI estimates that an efficiency improvement in the electric grid would save 54 terawatts hours of electricity, enough to power 4.8 million homes. There's a slew of information on the EPRI Web site.

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