As the nation examines energy use and its impact on climate change, the Glasgow Electric Plant Board has a $7.4 million grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority for a research project on energy storage in homes.
The Glasgow Electric Plant Board is spearheading a research project to find out if customers can store energy during off-peak times, and then use it during peak demand hours.
The goal of the Smart Energy Technology Project is to see if cutting edge technology can alter peak demand habits, and in the long-run, reduce the need to build new power plants.
Glasgow Electric Plant Board Superintendent William Ray said this is a chance for the city to provide critical research data that may be used for the nation’s sustainability efforts.
“The technologies we’re studying are all wrapped around the idea of energy storage," said Ray. "Some of that is direct storage. We’re putting in battery systems that charge off-peak during the middle of the night, and then dispense their stored energy during the day. But we’re treating the whole home as a battery.”
The efforts include putting in new thermostats that will allow the house to save energy by pre-warming or pre-cooling before peak demand times.
The project will install additional cutting edge equipment such as battery units and water heaters in about 300 homes that have been using large amounts of energy during peak demand times.
Extensive data on energy use will be collected by the leading edge system that’s long been in place.
“Glasgow has been the site, the laboratory, for a number of research projects over the years, because in the 80s, we decided to build a broadband network in parallel to our electric system," said Ray. "So we’ve got full-blown data connectivity to every electric meter that we serve. And that turns out to be something that research benefits greatly from.”
The goal of the current project is to encourage people to change their habits and adopt new energy-saving technologies.