HomeEnergyPortland General Electric targets smart grid test bed in 2019

Portland General Electric targets smart grid test bed in 2019


Nearly 20,000 customers will trial smart-home technologies including thermostats and water heaters


Portland General Electric has announced plans to file a proposal to carry out a smart grid test bed during 2019.

PGE is currently building and testing three smart grids within its service area that will enable more than 20,000 customers to take advantage of special demand-response signals and incentives for using smart-home technologies.

“Together with customers, we’re making the future a reality with innovative projects like our Smart Grid Test Bed. This first-of-its-kind project will leapfrog over other smart grid efforts, enabling PGE to gain and share learnings that will aid the entire industry,” said Maria Pope, PGE president and CEO.

“By providing customers with more control over their energy consumption and carbon footprint with the latest in control technology, PGE is on a path to building a model that energy providers everywhere can learn from and replicate,” said Jon Wellinghoff, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and CEO of Grid Policy.

As part of the test bed, PGE’s customers will be able to automate their smart devices, such as thermostats, water heaters, electric vehicle chargers and batteries, to work in concert with PGE as it operates the grid.

PGE will also leverage advanced communications capabilities and distribution system upgrades in three Oregon cities: Hillsboro, Portland and Milwaukie. Three feeders and substations in these cities will be equipped with other smart grid technologies, such as new remote controls that increase system reliability and enhanced safety and cyber security.

PGE said that the two-and-a-half-year project aims to achieve at least 66% participation by eligible customers. PGE developed the pilot with guidance from the Rocky Mountain Institute, one of the nation’s top sustainability consultants.

“PGE’s leadership in reducing energy consumption aligns perfectly with our community’s sustainability goals. This visionary project at the Roseway substation serving the South Hillsboro neighborhood will also aid our Smart City strategy by leveraging innovation and technology for our daily lives. Residents and businesses can make the most of smart thermostats, water heaters and appliances, rooftop solar energy generation, electric vehicles and energy storage,” said Steve Callaway, mayor of Hillsboro.

“Partnership and collaboration with Portland General Electric is a critical part of our efforts to combat climate change and to make our electricity grid and neighborhoods more resilient, livable and efficient. The City of Portland is excited to learn about smart grid implementation alongside PGE in this important pilot program,” said Ted Wheeler, mayor of Portland

Based in Portland, Oregon, Portland General Electric Company currently serves approximately 883,000 customers in 51 cities.

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