TVA and local power companies are evaluating technologies that may one day lead to a smarter and more dynamic transmission system. The term “smart grid,” has evolved to include many facets, from a dynamic two-way communication system that allows greater choice for power users to technologies that enable TVA to track and predict the health of the system, promoting a more efficient and reliable service.
On the power consumer end, smart meters could tell consumers how much electricity they are using and how much it is costing as they use it. This information has the potential to encourage a shift in consumption from peak usage times to periods when the load is not as great.
New grid technologies to monitor and manage power distribution systems will allow TVA to correct problems and adjust transmission and generation resources to ensure a continuous supply of energy. This can promote reduced emissions, lower energy costs and greater flexibility to accommodate new renewable distributed energy sources.
TVA has developed a roadmap that will:
- Lead to plans for important applications for transmission, distribution and consumer systems
- Enable a better understanding of the costs and benefits of these applications
- Resolve questions of technology integration and interoperability between operations and end devices.
Current technology demonstrations include:
- Wide-area visualization of power system assets and operating conditions
- More efficient use of existing transmission paths
- Integration of renewable storage technologies
- Smart asset management using advanced sensing devices
- Engagement of end use consumers in energy efficiency and demand response.