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The statewide Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) application, known as eEnergy Vermont, was filed by Vermont Transco on behalf of all Vermont distribution utilities, with the support of the Public Service Department (PSD), Efficiency Vermont (EVT), and the Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery, as well as Vermont’s Congressional delegation. The eEnergy Vermont project will move Vermont toward the development of a statewide digital grid, using technology to convert the electric infrastructure from a one-way delivery system (conveying electricity to consumers) to a two-way communication system able to relay information about usage, voltage, existing or potential outages, and equipment performance, between the customer and the utilities. The project is a collaboration of all twenty of Vermont’s electrical distribution utilities, its energy efficiency utilities (EVT and Burlington Electric Department), and the state’s transmission utility (Vermont Transco LLC).
The eEnergy Vermont collaborative has a range of goals intended to make Vermont’s grid smarter and more reliable, secure and affordable, while lowering Vermont’s carbon footprint. Specific eEnergy Vermont goals include, but are not limited to:
- Deploying smart meters to over 90% of Vermont premises
- Piloting the use of in-home devices for communicating and managing consumer energy patterns
- Studying dynamic rate structures enabled by smart meter technology
- Deploying automated controls to the grid and substations which will be accomplished through grid automation, advanced metering and the technology it enables, dynamic pricing, and other programs that lower peak electric loads, enable and encourage the use of off peak electricity to replace fossil fuels, and enhance the security and control of the state’s distribution and transmission facilities
Because of a high level of cooperative effort among Vermont’s utilities and public entities, Vermont has an opportunity to build a statewide Smart Grid that can serve as a model for the rest of the country. This infrastructure will be critical to Vermont’s ability to compete in the global economy and to do our part in addressing the challenges of energy conservation and efficiency.