Several emerging trends, including the rapid growth in renewable generation and greater emphasis on improving grid efficiency and resiliency, are leading to a critical need to modernize the way electricity is delivered from suppliers to consumers. Modernizing the grid's hardware and software could help reduce peak power demand, increase the use of renewable energy, save consumers money on their power bills, and reduce total energy consumption--among many other notable benefits.
Project Innovation + Advantages:
AutoGrid, in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Columbia University, will design and demonstrate automated control software that helps manage real-time demand for energy across the electric grid. Known as the Demand Response Optimization and Management System - Real-Time (DROMS-RT), the software will enable personalized price signals to be sent to millions of customers in extremely short timeframes—incentivizing them to alter their electricity use in response to grid conditions. This will help grid operators better manage unpredictable demand and supply fluctuations in short time-scales—making the power generation process more efficient and cost effective for both suppliers and consumers. DROMS-RT is expected to provide a 90% reduction in the cost of operating demand response and dynamic pricing programs in the U.S.
If successful, AutoGrid's demand response optimization system could allow homeowners and businesses to exert more control over their energy usage and utility bills by providing them with up-to-date information on prices and real-time, grid-wide energy demand and supply conditions.
A more efficient, reliable grid would be more resilient to potential disruptions from failure, natural disasters, or attack.
Enabling increased use of wind and solar power would result in a substantial decrease in carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.—40% of which are produced by electricity generation.
A more efficient and reliable grid would help protect U.S. businesses from costly power outages and brownouts that stop automated equipment, bring down factories, and crash computers.