Honeywell landed today an $11 million grant from the Energy Department to install smart-grid technology in California. The size of the grant belies its potential importance in helping California—and eventually the country—use energy more wisely.
In short, Honeywell will install gear that helps big industrial and commercial users of Southern California Edison automatically downshift their electricity consumption the few days a year when California uses “critical peak pricing.” The state has been toying with peak pricing regimes for years, but has largely left electricity users to respond manually.
Call it the smart half of the smart grid—allowing users to easily and automatically change how and when they use electricity. Both the utility and Honeywell figure that automating electricity demand in that way can roughly double the amount of juice not used compared with today’s systems.
The idea carries lots of potential benefits. By shifting or eliminating electricity demand at peak periods, there’s less risk of brownouts and blackouts—with all the billions of dollars that costs the economy....MORE
We like Keith, the 6:00 AM timestamp may explain that first sentence.