- A Week in Smart Metering

A recent US power outage raises an interesting point about managing expectations of grid reliability, writes Rose Bundock,
Published: Wed 15 Apr 2015

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”.

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