Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sempra Leads the Pack in Smart Grid Adaptation

Intelligent Utility Magazine is out with its national survey of smart grid adaptation by major utilities, and Sempra ranks first in the nation:

"In 2008, the company installed 4,500 smart devices on San Diego homes and businesses, making it one of the first utilities in America to meter up its customers. The move was a first step in a half a billion dollar effort to convert 1.4 million aging meters by the end of 2011.

This month, Sempra subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric was picked as a part of a $99.8 million federal grant to help make the city's grid plug-in ready for the cars of the future."

But the write-up notes that "optimism" about progress should not obscure the reason it undertook the survey in the first place:

"today's smart grid hype must be separated from reality. Utilities are anticipated to be the drivers behind mass smart-grid adoption. And the truth is, none of the nation's "intelligent" utilities is even close to being all the way there. Many still lack a long-term smart-grid roadmap."

In its report on the survey, the solveclimate.com blog calls today's grid a "dirty energy suck" and notes that smart grids are the "vital cure."