Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 9, 2011 - Hydro-Québec’s smart grid project has joined EPRI’s Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative as its 12th large scale demonstration site.
The project intends to address performance and interoperability of a smart distribution system, consisting of a number of advanced distribution applications and the associated technologies. Utilizing the site of a conservation voltage reduction pilot, control of the project’s numerous distributed energy resources (DER) are integrated in the distribution management system (DMS). An advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and meter data management system (MDMS) provide a bi-directional link between the utility and the customer. Beyond the interface with the customer, the AMI provides a potential source of voltage measurement for advanced distribution applications.

Additional DER integration includes demand response technologies, electric vehicle charging and potentially vehicle to grid, and concentrated solar and residential photovoltaics. In parallel with the DER technologies, automatic fault location and reconfiguration will also be deployed while a combination of WiMax and telephone lines, together with the meshed meter technology, will link the various components in order to facilitate the required exchange of information.

The Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative is a five-year collaborative research effort focused on addressing the prevalent challenges to integrating distributed energy resources into the grid and market operations to create a “virtual power plant,” with participating utilities in the U.S., Canada, France and Ireland.

Additional new members are being accepted through 2011 and currently under review as a host site is Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) smart grid project. Overall, this demonstration is in the early deployment stage with several sub-projects well underway while others are still in the late planning stage. The AMI sub-project is approaching 50 percent completion with 99 percent completion expected by the end of the year, and the DOE has given formal approval to conduct a consumer behavior study. Installation of fifteen 8.8 kWh residential energy storage battery systems in homes is scheduled for late June/early July and installation of three 30 kWh community energy storage battery systems at distribution transformers is scheduled for September, while three 100 kW Tecogen generators (for the microgrid project) have been delivered and installation will begin in July. Further, feasibility studies have been completed on the 1.4 MW Sacramento Solar Highway sub-project and the environmental study is underway.