On the Road to a Smart Grid

Mr. Duncan envisions a triangle of consumption and production, its three points being the utility; homes and buildings; and the transportation sector.

Published: 09-Dec-2008

“Smart grid” is an exciting term that comes up a lot these days. But what does it actually mean? I sat down last week with Roger Duncan, general manager of Austin Energy, one of the most innovative utilities in the nation.

Taking a wide view of the electric grid of the future — one that will likely see increased demand from electrified cars — Mr. Duncan envisions a triangle of consumption and production, its three points being the utility; homes and buildings; and the transportation sector.

In the old model, Mr. Duncan said, the utility simply produced the electricity, delivering it over transmission lines to commercial and residential customers who used it.

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