Making the Case for Smart Grid to Shave Peak Power : Greentech Media
Smart grid technology could shave 15 percent to 20 percent off a utility or region’s peak power demand, according to estimates from the World Energy Council, IBM and others. That adds up to that many fewer fossil-fuel fired power plants a utility or region will have to build over the next few decades or so, which is good for the utility, the customers and the planet.
But how do you measure the value of a power plant never built — and how do you justify the uncertain returns on the hard costs of deploying the smart grid to make that happen (or, not happen)?
Those are questions that the smart grid industry — and, importantly, state and federal regulators — will have to answer if we’re to achieve the peak-shaving potential that the smart grid promises.
“What’s the value of that avoided cost?” John Chevrette, president of management consulting division at big utility technology services firm Black & Veatch, said during a Wednesday press breakfast in San Francisco. “It’s a very debatable point in the industry.”