The N.C. Utilities Commission has approved a “smart-grid” pilot program planned by Duke Energy Carolinas for a south Charlotte residential area. According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the initiative will combine technologies of solar power, smart meters and storage batteries to help determine how small solar generators and energy-storage equipment might be integrated to reduce peak demand and improve service reliability.
According to the Journal report, the project utilizes several key Duke Energy initiatives: Save-A-Watt, smart grid and rooftop solar panels. Meters will track how energy is used in order to fine-tune the control of usage. The program targets high energy-consuming appliances, including heating and air-conditioning systems, clothes dryers, pool pumps, entertainment centers — particularly plasma televisions. The project is expected to be operational by fall.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor