Thursday, August 13, 2009

FERC Sounds Smart Grid Alarm at GovEnergy 2009

Joe McClelland, Director of FERC's Office of Electric Reliability, said something that echoed through the otherwise upbeat annual conference focused on new energy technology and policy. Near the close of the conference, McClelland, a lifelong energy vet, said:
The Smart Grid scares the hell out of me. It's not the new capabilities; it's the amount of interconnectedness it brings.
As Jack and I have maintained, it's way too early in the evolution of the Smart Grid to think we have all the problems worked out. In fact, we only know a fraction about what this complex creation is ultimately going to look like. The best we can hope for short term is to be finding and asking the right questions.

But folks like McClelland know what has kept the grid relatively safe and reliable until now, and they sense instinctively that something very new and hard to plan for, let alone control, is coming on fast.

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