Learn the Lingo
Smart Grid: Learn the Lingo
RPU will continue to communicate with our customers about our Smart Grid developments. As you learn about local and national developments, it will be helpful for you to have this glossary of common Smart Grid terminology:
AMI: Advanced Metering Infrastructure is a term denoting electricity meters that measure and record usage data in hourly intervals (at minimum), and provide usage data to both consumers and energy companies at least once daily.
DSM: Demand-Side Management represents the amount of consumer load reduction at the time of system peak due to utility programs that are designed to reduce consumer demand and/or electricity use.
DISTRIBUTION: The delivery of energy to retail customers.
ELECTRIC POWER GRID: A system of synchronized power providers and consumers connected by transmission and distribution lines and operated by one or more control centers. In the continental United States, the electric power grid consists of three systems: the Eastern Interconnect, the Western Interconnect, and the Texas Interconnect. In Alaska and Hawaii, several systems encompass areas smaller than the State (e.g., the interconnect serving Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Kenai Peninsula; individual islands).
FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (FERC): The federal agency with jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing, oil pipeline rates, and gas pipeline certification. FERC is an independent regulatory agency within the Department of Energy and is the successor to the Federal Power Commission.
FUEL CELL: A device capable of generating an electrical current by converting the chemical energy of a fuel (e.g., hydrogen) directly into electrical energy. Fuel cells differ from conventional electrical cells in that the active materials such as fuel and oxygen are not contained within the cell but are supplied from outside. It does not contain an intermediate heat cycle, as do most other electrical generation techniques.
GENERATION: The process of producing electric energy by transforming other forms of energy; also, the amount of electric energy produced, expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
LOAD: The amount of electric power delivered or required at any specific point or points on a system. The requirement originates at the energy consuming equipment of the consumers.
LOAD CONTROL PROGRAM: A program in which the utility company offers a lower rate in return for having permission to turn off the air conditioner or water heater for short periods of time by remote control. This control allows the utility to reduce peak demand.
OUTAGE: The period during which a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility is out of service.
PEAK DEMAND OR PEAK LOAD: The maximum load during a specified period of time.
RELIABILITY: A measure of the ability of the system to continue operation while some lines or generators are out of service. Reliability deals with the performance of the system under stress.
TIME-OF-DAY PRICING: A special electric rate feature under which the price per kilowatt-hour depends on the time of day.
TRANSMISSION: The movement or transfer of electric energy over an interconnected group of lines and associated equipment between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to consumers or is delivered to other electric systems.