Baltimore Gas and Electric on its Way to Smart Grid Implementation

By Madhubanti Rudra April 23, 2010

An implementation of smart grid can result in huge energy saving for the utilities as well as for the consumers. The smart grid implementation can also help the utilities stay competitive. Just like other industry players, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), a subsidiary of Constellation Energy was also considering a smart grid transition which required a good deal of investment. With the finalization of its agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the awarding of a $200 million federal stimulus grant, BGE, the largest gas and electric utility in Maryland can now start working on its comprehensive Smart Grid initiative. On implementation, Smart Grid is expected to result in an estimated $2.6 billion in customer savings over the life of the project.

"Finalization of this agreement between BGE and the Department of Energy is a major step forward in making this highly competitive and coveted grant of $200 million a reality. This agreement is further affirmation of the comprehensive nature of BGE's multi-year approach to implementing Smart Grid. While there are certain operational benefits to be realized, the true beneficiaries of this grant and technology will be BGE's customers. To that end, we look forward to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) issuing its decision soon," Kenneth W. DeFontes Jr., president of BGE, said.

A successful implementation of BGE's smart grid project can transform the way BGE customers utilize and conserve energy on a day-to-day basis. But before that, the project must receive green signal from Maryland PSC. It has already concluded its hearing process and is now deliberating the matter. Once got approval from the Maryland PSC, the $200 million grant will be made available to BGE, and with this, the smart grid implementation will kick off, paving the way for the multi-year phasing-in of a long-term transformation of the way energy is consumed today.

With the new Smart Grid technology in place, the customers will experience a transformation in the ways they consume and conserve electricity. This will give them, greater control over their monthly energy bills.

There are a number of ways customers will be benefited by this initiative. Consumers will be given bill credits for reduced energy consumption during periods of peak demand.

The consumers will be able to get enhanced information about energy usage and costs along with opportunities to save, improved system reliability and significant environmental benefits.

Last but not least, smart Grid will play a meaningful role in helping BGE customers achieve required energy savings under the state of Maryland's EmPOWER Maryland law, which was passed in 2008. The law calls for a 15 percent reduction in energy use and peak demand statewide by 2015.

Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for IoTevolutionworld. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

IoTevolutionworld Contributor

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