The White House momentarily lost power before its generator kicked in as regional utility Pepco lost voltage across its service area due to a transmission conductor in Maryland falling and cutting off supply.
The outcome was a media flurry of crisis of confidence in the US grid and its ability to handle advanced generation and distribution technology.
No-one is in doubt that the US electrical supply system is in need of modernization but neither should consumers be led to believe that the sprinkling of smart grid fairy dust means they will never experience another outage.
As Gerry Cauley, the president of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, rightfully pointed out, the US is in a “continuous state of modernization of the grid” and no matter how many times the Department of Energy says smart grid, “there will not be an all-of-a-sudden transformation”.
More from Metering.com
The global smart meter market will be worth US$18.2 billion by 2019, encompassing smart electric, water and gas meters for industrial, commercial and residential applications, according to a new report by US market research and consulting firm MarketsandMarkets.
In Europe, energy consultancy company DNV GL has won a contract to consult on Ireland’s smart meter rollout to 2 million households, an Irish newspaper reported at the weekend. DNV GL will supply technical consultancy services to the Commission for Energy Regulation, Ireland’s independent regulator, which is overseeing the rollout of smart electricity and gas meters by 2020.
In Germany, telecom companies Telefónica Germany and Ericsson have teamed with the E.ON Research Center to demonstrate the potential of LTE for smart meter connectivity. The trials carried out at RWTH Aachen University suggest that LTE prioritization, a standard feature of LTE, allows utilities to use public networks for communicating with smart meters as an alternative to existing powerline or fixed network connections.
In Europe, Norway’s largest power grid operator Hafslund Nett has awarded European critical infrastructure company Eltel a tender to deliver a 630,000 smart meter deployment, the largest in Norway to date, the companies claim.
Central and Eastern European countries are forging ahead with investment in smart grid infrastructure with a reported US$25.2 billion to be invested over the next ten years, according to a new report by US smart infrastructure market intelligence firm Northeast Group.
In the US, meter manufacturer Sensus has this week announced the release of its new 4G/LTE radio module for utility distribution automation (DA) devices that use 4G AT&T GSM/GPRS cellular networks. The new 4G/LTE radio module allows customers to remotely communicate with a range of endpoint devices (capacitor bank controllers, reclosers, and fault current indicators) in the field, that support network optimisation applications.
Metering.com is the sister news portal to Engerati focusing on smart metering.