Obama's trip to Tampa could tout 'smart grid'
Details are still emerging -- and no official word has come from the White House -- but President Obama's planned trip to Tampa on Tuesday could be used to highlight his vision for a revamped national energy network, the so-called smart grid.
Obama's stimulus package contains $4.5 billion in funding for a smart grids, which would tap into wind and solar and other green energy sources and transmit it to large urban areas, such as Tampa and Miami. General Electric recently started an experiment in Hawaii that saves energy by turning off household appliances when electricity is expensive and makes better use of wind and solar power.
Planners envision installing a new kind of power meter in homes - a wall-based unit that can monitor how much electricity is being used by various appliances and turn them off at peak times during the day or night when demand for energy is higher, and thus costlier to consume. The project also would upgrade the utility's computer systems so that it can integrate more renewable energy.
The Wall Street Journal has a recent story on the smart grid technology.