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EPRI Collaborative Aims to Improve Efficiency of Transmission Grid

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched an industry-wide transmission efficiency demonstration collaborative with a group of utilities and transmission system operators that will compile and analyze performance data from transmission lines, substations and grid operations to assess the cost, benefit and technical criteria for implementing efficiency measures.

More than 20 organizations and proposed 33 transmission demonstration projects will be providing data, and EPRI is actively recruiting more utilities and system operators to participate. The results will serve as a blueprint that will help improve the efficiency of the existing transmission system and the future bulk power network.

The collaborative is an outgrowth of efforts by EPRI, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and transmission owners and operators to implement various technical designs that can facilitate more efficiency in the transmission system.

EPRI estimates a 40% improvement in grid efficiency would result in a savings of 54 terawatt hours, enough electricity to power 4.8 million homes in the United States.

The initiative follows five meetings by key stakeholders in the United States and one in Poland in 2009 that identified the best practices and the technology improvements necessary to bolster bulk power efficiency. The international part of the collaborative will be launched 2 June in Madrid, Spain.




We don't want to be the harbinger of disruptive news but in the big energy future we see a discontinuance of grid expansion. Centrally generated energy distributed over copper wire will never be as efficient as locally generated and distributed power. Adding a Residential Power Unit to single family homes and multi-residence dwellings is the path to energy independence.

Centralized resources are vulnerable to system failure and hostile actions. The "smart grid" is likewise susceptible to mechanical failure resulting in whole municipalities losing power. We do need to upgrade our grids - but in tandem with RPU build-outs.

RPUs will create JOBS, lower grid and maintenance costs, greatly increase security, and limit need for traditional power plants, dams, wind farms. RPUs built around SOFC technology like the Bloom Box, burning NG fuel and eventually renewable fuels - are one way forward.

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