Smart Grid: How Does It Work and Why Do We Need It?

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 17:00:00 GMT

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and MissionPoint Capital Partners invite you to a lunch briefing and demonstration discussing smart grid technology, what it is, how it can be used, and what key policy issues and market barriers affect its development. The need for a smart grid is increasingly recognized as policymakers at all levels of government look for ways to improve the energy efficiency of producing and using electricity in our homes, businesses, and public institutions. Many believe that a smart grid is a critical foundation for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. A smart grid entails technology applications that will allow an easier integration and higher penetration of renewable energy. It will be essential for accelerating the development and widespread usage of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and their potential use as storage for the grid. Certainly, PHEVs have been of great interest in the Congress. Smart meters are a key component in the smart grid system that can help utilities balance demand, reduce expensive peak power use and provide a better deal for consumers by allowing them to see and respond to real-time pricing information through in-home displays, smart thermostats and appliances.

Congress may take up provisions related to a smart grid as part of the upcoming economic recovery package. Regardless, these issues will certainly be part of policy discussion as energy and climate legislation is considered in the 111th Congress. This briefing provides an opportunity to hear first-hand from a panel of experts about some of the demonstration projects and deployments underway, and lessons learned from those experiences. It is a chance to see and participate in a “hands-on” demonstration of smart grid applications. The briefing will also discuss existing federal/state barriers and various policy options to address them. Speakers for this event include:

  • Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
  • Dan Abbasi, Senior Director, MissionPoint Capital Partners
  • Bill Vogel, Chief Executive Officer, Trilliant Networks
  • Dave Mohler, Chief Technology Officer, Duke Energy
  • Mike Carlson, Chief Information Officer, Xcel Energy
  • Bob Gilligan, Vice President, Transmission and Development, GE Energy
  • Michael Butts, Director of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Baltimore Gas and Electric
  • Dan Delurey, Executive Director, Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition
  • Eric Miller, Chief Solutions Officer, Trilliant Networks (Moderator)

This briefing is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served. No RSVP required. For more information, please contact Laura Parsons at [email protected] or (202) 662-1884.

MissionPoint is an investment firm exclusively focused on financing the transition to a low-carbon economy. This is the first in a series of Hill briefings that MissionPoint is co-sponsoring to describe selected pieces of the low-carbon puzzle that it has experience evaluating, backing and strategically accelerating.