Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”) released its Smart Grid Deployment Plan which represents a disciplined and integrated approach to using new monitoring and control technology to provide safe, reliable, responsive and environmentally sustainable service to its customers in Northern and Central California.

The 290-page Plan includes future projects that will take advantage of a wide range of advanced communications, computing, sensing and control technologies. PG&E hopes to improve service and reliability, lower customer costs and incorporate more renewable energy onto the grid, all in accordance with the California Public Utility Commission’s decisions and policies implementing California's Smart Grid bill.

The Plan adopts several high-priority objectives to guide PG&E’s Smart Grid investments and initiatives over the next 10 years. Those objectives include the following:

  1. To engage customers, PG&E will:

a.Use the existing SmartMeterTM technology to allow customers not only to view but to modify their energy usage;

b.Improve the use of demand response resources in energy and ancillary service markets; and

c.Invest in infrastructure to support the electric vehicle market.

  1. To support Smart Energy Markets, PG&E will:

a. Improve its forecasting of market conditions; and

b.Integrate renewable resources (primarily wind and solar) on a large scale into the grid.

  1. To support Smart Utility practices, PG&E will:

a.Improve its response to outages;

b.Enhance its grid monitoring and control;

c.Maintain system voltage levels; and

d.Improve substation monitoring.

  1. PG&E will also continually improve and upgrade the infrastructure supporting the smart grid.

The Plan can be found at: 

http://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/shared/edusafety/electric/SmartGridDeploymentPlan2011_06-30-11.pdf)