A coalition of 25 local, national and global organisations under the leadership of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), University of California San Diego and CleanTECH San Diego has been established to transform the San Diego region’s electrical grid into a digital smart grid. The coalition will, in part, create a community-scale utility system within the region that can interconnect greater percentages of renewable generation at both the distribution and transmission system levels, store electricity and use automated sensors and communication technologies to help manage these intermittent energy resources.

The coalition will also focus on accommodating a growing number of electric vehicles and empower customers to exert greater control over their own energy usage with the most advanced technology. If successful, the prototype project could be recreated on a larger scale anywhere in the world.

In addition to SDG&E, UC San Diego and CleanTECH San Diego, the organisations in the San Diego regional smart grid project include IBM, GE, Cisco, Intel, Balance Energy – a BAE Systems Initiative, SAIC, Qualcomm, BMC Software, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc., S&C Electric Company, Itron, The Valley Group – a Nexans company, On-Ramp Wireless, Plug Smart, Tradescape and the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Integral to the team will be the research and development resources at UC San Diego, University of California Los Angeles and the “Energy Policy Initiatives Center” based at the University of San Diego School of Law. Supporters include the California Independent System Operator, California Energy Commission, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 465, and global support from Alliander in the Netherlands and North Delhi Power Limited.

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