Xcel Energy has chosen Boulder as its first “Smart Grid City” using technology to help customers conserve more energy while helping the utility reduce outages.
“Xcel said Wednesday it will work with partners to create a fully networked “smart grid” that can deliver renewable energy such as wind and solar power, along with fuels like coal, to customers with a largely automated system. It would be able to sense when part of the system is overloaded so power can be rerouted to prevent an outage.”
While Xcel hasn’t been on my list of favorite corporations, they deserve kudos for finally getting a program like this in place. The first phase of the project is expected to be in place around August. In 2009, the project will start evaluating data. If all goes well, other states could start seeing smart grid projects as early as 2010.
“Boulder Mayor Shaun McGrath said the Smart Grid City initiative represents an opportunity to help the city meet its goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“We know energy conservation and energy efficiency must be key components of our energy future,” Gov. Bill Ritter said in a written statement. “We also know the least expensive energy is energy that’s never used – the ‘nega-watt.’ New smart-grid technology will allow us to better manage, reduce, monitor and understand our energy use. It also will integrate, for the first time, solar rooftops as a recognized part of our energy infrastructure.””