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We live in a very critical and exciting time in the evolution of the electric power industry. Society in general and the power industry in particular are faced with the challenges and opportunities of transforming the power grid ushered in by Nicola Tesla some 120 years ago into a smart grid. A smart grid will help the world manage demand growth, conserve energy, maximize asset utilization, improve grid security and reliability, and reduce its carbon footprint. Smart grid technology is not a single silver bullet but a collection of existing and emerging standards-based, interoperable technologies working together. Controllable technologies for supply, demand, power flow, and storage provide the means to implement decisions made by smart control algorithms and thus create value. ABB already provides its customers with many of the smart grid technologies described here and continues to research and develop power control technologies as well as smart grid applications.
Date of Publication: March-April 2010