A smart grid is an electric system where pieces of equipment have two-way communications capability so they can “talk” to each other over a communications network.
Like your smartphone, this happens through a communications module inside the equipment. In a smart electric grid, substations, meters on homes and businesses, and sensors along the lines all transmit information back to the power company.
This data allows the utility to see what’s happening across the whole electric grid in real time. When the power goes out, they can easily pinpoint the outage and send crews to the proper location to fix it. With enhanced capability, some smart grid systems can even reroute power automatically when an outage happens to get the majority of customers back on in seconds.
Adapting to Saskatchewan’s power needs
Our vision is for an advanced, smarter grid that will help us to reach our goal of having up to 50 per cent of our power come from renewable resources by 2030. To get us there, we need an electrical system that can adapt – providing two-way communication to smart devices that help us:
- Understand when and where outages happen;
- Make it easy to connect customers who are generating their own renewable power (such as solar or wind); and
- Give us the information we need to tap various sources of power based on when and where customers need it.