KIUC Smart Grid Plan

SUBHEAD: Utilities are pushing "Smart Grids" to not only monitor but to control your energy use in the Matrix.  

By Juan Wilson on 8 April 2011 for Island Breath - 

Image above: Strangely dated looking illustration of Smart Grid in home using clumsy clip-art. From (

 KIUC projects a continuation of business as usual, with preservation of 24x7x365 consumer power support using increasing technological sophistication. They are committed to a single centralized grid with greater control of customer electrical use. Hence their need for a "Smart Grid". The Smart Grid technology is in essence a communication system between the major appliances in your house and the control room at the power plant.

These appliances will use their connection to the grid to communicate their power use to the utility company, letting them monitor the loads at each customers home (watch out indoor marijuana growers). Utility companies call this a green initiative, because it will let them better understand its loads and need to generate just the right amount of power when needed.

According to the Department of Energy, peak electricity is the most expensive electricity to produce, and moving the country to the smart grid should reduce peak energy demand by 1,400 megawatts, which could save ratepayers more than $1.5 billion in capital costs.

Controlling Appliances
General Electric and other manufacturers are already planning to insert the required chips in all air-conditioners, refrigerators and other power consuming appliances. Whirlpool announced its commitment to making all of its electronically controlled appliances worldwide Smart-Grid compatible by 2015. The smart grid will not only monitor energy usage in an area but work to reduce consumption during peak times. Another aspect of the Smart Grid is to control the use of power by the customer down to the individual appliance.
"The smart grid will be able to send signals to the compatible appliances to shift their use to nonpeak times. For some appliances, like a dishwasher, the smart grid could delay the start of an appliance’s cycle until nonpeak times. For others, like a refrigerator, the grid will make sure they don’t perform their most energy-consuming automatic tasks, like defrosting, during the peak times." (
Health Risks
The question arises, how do the appliances and electrical meters communicate back and forth with the utility company? Wi-fi. The power company will set up a "universal" two-way wi-fi radio signal system. Wi-fi uses radio waves similar to wireless phone technology.  

Specifically wi-fi uses one of two different incompatible radio-based LAN protocols, namely 802.11b (which speaks DSSS at 2.4GHz) and 802.11a (which speaks OFDM at 5GHz). Smart Grids will add several new radio signal sources to each home in its system as well as transmit radio signals from all transmission lines. KIUC Currents article reads:

KIUC's Grid: A 'Smart' Move
Picture many systems talking to one another, back and forth, each component helping to move electricity to transmission lines, distribution lines and your home as efficiently as possible. As an electric cooperative member, you have a stake in the future of electricity availability, reliability and efficiency—all the things the new smart grid technologies are intended to manage.
These technologies can even give you the tools to control and monitor your energy use. And today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says, electric co­ops are leading the way in the deployment of smart meter infrastructure penetration.
Currently, KIUC has a supervisory control and data acquisition with automatic generation controls (SCADA/AGC) system. That real­time operating system automatically controls our generation to run at its most economic set point based on current load.
It also communicates with our substations to collect real­time data and remotely control devices on KIUC’s transmission and distribution system, such as breakers, switches and digital relays.
In the event of an outage, SCADA provides the co­ op with the status of affected areas and provides power plant operators with the information they need to assess the situation and remedy the problem. With the advent of advance metering infrastructure (AMI), communications will continue from KIUC substations to individual home meters.
In November 2009, KIUC and 26 other electric cooperatives from 10 states were awarded a $33.9 million matching grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) for Smart Grid Demonstration Projects.
DOE awarded the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Cooperative Research Network (CRN) half of the project’s total cost of $67 million to test and develop technologies that operate together to make the grid more efficient and reliable. The cost of KIUC’s project is $11 million, of which $5.5 million is being provided by ARRA.
The project involves replacing about 33,000 meters with smart meters, along with communications infrastructure that will allow two­way communication between the meter and KIUC. AMI will enable KIUC not only to do meter readings remotely, but to demonstrate the effectiveness of load control and demand response options within households, manage and detect outages to the household level, and evaluate different rate designs depending on usage.
The demonstration project—which includes replacing existing meters with new smart meters at members’ homes and installing communications infrastructure—will assess smart grid effectiveness.
It is estimated to last five years: two years for installation beginning in 2011, and three years for data gathering and analysis. In the final stages of vendor selection, KIUC is looking forward to meeting the challenge of clearly articulating the benefits of smart meters moving forward. A lack of information can breed uncertainty.
Some of you may have seen news reports from California, Maine and other areas on the mainland regarding electro­sensitivity to smart meter infrastructure. Like any new technology, smart grid technology is triggering concerns among a small segment of consumers.
KIUC is vigorously committed to the safety of its members, and will make it a priority to address any concerns in the months to come. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Anne Barnes at the co­ op, (808) 246-4300.

Universal provision of wi-fi has been one of the selling points of Smart Grids.. The downside of this is universal radio signal pollution. Some people think this may have effects on our health. Is this what KIUC is refering to with "regarding electro­sensitivity to smart meter infrastructure"

Here's one example from (
Amid claims of malfunctioning meters, privacy issues and dubious economic value, health issues stemming from electromagnetic waves are the latest objection that smart meter opponents have seized upon to block California's multibillion-dollar rollout.
Northern California residents and lawmakers have been sounding the alarm for the past year, saying that the meters, when layered on top of microwaves, cell phones, wireless routers and other emitters, are the final straw.
Things came to a head last week when the Marin County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that deems the installation of smart meters a misdemeanor in some areas of the county (Greenwire, Jan. 5).
"What we're trying to say is, it's not just endangered species we need to watch out for," said Katharina Sandizell, a co-director of the nonprofit West Marin Community Coalition for Public Health who was arrested last month for blocking smart meter installers' trucks. "Humans are also the canaries in the closet."
Sandizell believes that her two children could suffer developmental problems, brain tumors or other disorders as a result of electromagnetic radiation.
State Rep. Jared Huffman (D), who represents Marin, introduced a bill last month that would require the California Public Utilities Commission to suspend smart meter installation until there is a provision to allow residents to opt out of the program with a wired meter. He has also requested a report on the potential health effects of smart meters from the state Council on Science and Technology, an advisory group established by the state Legislature, that is due out this month.
"This bill is about giving consumers reasonable choices," Huffman said. "Whether or not you believe RF [radio frequency] exposures from smart meters are harmful, it's only fair that consumers who are concerned about health effects be given complete technical information and the choice of another technology for devices that are installed at their homes."
But are they actually dangerous? A study released last week by environmental consulting firm Sage Associates contends that they are. The report claims violations of federal emissions standards at a variety of distances from the meters and argues that the devices are more dangerous when grouped together and when coupled with other wireless technologies.
"Indiscriminate exposure to environmentally ubiquitous pulsed RF from the rollout of millions of new RF sources (smart meters) will mean far greater general population exposures, and potential health consequences," the study says.
I believe KIUC should be working towards a distributed alternative to our centralized power grid, and not consolidating our dependence on large scale hi-tech projects. I hope that by the time KIUC wants to put a Smart Grid meter on my house I am generating enough solar PV to tell them not to bother... I won't be buying anymore power from them.  


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