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Energy Efficiency New York City Lights

Published on July 17th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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Smart Grid Technology Helps New York City



New York City Lights

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An old Cleantechnica writer (actually, our previous editor), arielschwartz/, wrote a great article this week on how a nascent smart grid helped to prevent brownouts and blackouts in New York during a record-breaking heat wave earlier this month.

Although our nation’s electricity grid has a ways to go before we can really call it a smart grid, it is great to see that initial updates and changes are already making a difference.

Here’s the part of the article about how New York City’s utility, Con Edison, used smart grid technology to help keep the grid up:

It wasn’t easy for New York City’s utility Con Edison to prevent brownouts and blackouts as the heat wave mounted. The utility went so far as to call individual customers, pleading with them to turn off nonessential appliances.

But Con Ed had a backup weapon in its fight against blackouts: an initiative that lets the utility reprogram thermostats in 20,000 homes and businesses outfitted with central air-conditioning systems. When the heat wave began, Con Ed sent radio signals to the thermostats, triggering them to cycle on and off every half hour. The initiative saved 25 megawatts of energy during peak demand last week—enough to at least partially prevent the grid from collapsing.

To read more on development of the smart grid across the US, read Ariel’s full article on GOOD.IS, “Battling Heat Waves by Making the Grid Smarter.”

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Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs via flickr

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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