The Rapidian

A Watershed Moment: Living with a smart grid

Dr. Ian Hiskens, Professor at the University of Michigan, explains the Grand Rapids smart grid.

/Courtesy of Holly Wright, Journalism and Illustration intern at WMEAC

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Learn more about Consumers Energy's Smart Grid program by clicking here.

 

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan and solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

On this episode of A Watershed Moment, we hear from Dr. Ian Hiskens, the Vennema Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Hiskens spoke on the panel at the Smart Grid Energy Forum hosted in January by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and explained the "smart grid" in Grand Rapids.

Smart grid is an advancing technology system that directly connects users to their utilities. The grid is comprised of electricity, utilities, electric companies and consumers themselves, all of which communicate with each other.

Dependency on utilities is growing. Our ovens, washing machines, dishwashers and light switches are in constant use. Smart grids connect consumers to these everyday utilities so that using them requires less hassle for cheaper prices. Smart grids promote energy use during off-peak hours when energy is cheapest and encourage alternative energy usage such as wind and solar power.

You can read more about the smart grid in Grand Rapids at the WMEAC Blog.

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