The Smart Grid concept is getting a boost from the Obama administration in the form of (with matching of private sector funds) approximately $8B capital investment over the next three years. The United States Department of Energy is making a number of Smart Grid publications widely available, and the funding attracted by Smart Grid is energizing a number of technology firms positioned to sell into this area.
Among the goals of the Smart Grid concept are the following features of a modernized public electric utility system:
- Self-healing from power disturbance events
- Enabling active participation by consumers in demand response
- Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attack
- Providing power quality for 21st century needs
- Accommodating all generation and storage options
- Enabling new products, services, and markets
- Optimizing assets and operating efficiently
So what does this have to do with networks and IPv6? Well, the implications of the capabilities and services outlined above will depend on monitoring and control of both delivered and consumed power at very intricate levels.