November 13, 2020

What is a Smart Grid?

At Sempra Energy, our mission is to be North America’s premier energy infrastructure company. To achieve this, our companies are investing in ‘smart grid’ technology to help improve the transmission from energy sources to homes and businesses across the communities we serve.

Our energy network is a vast, interconnected system of transmission lines, substations, energy transformers and more that connect energy sources such as power plants to consumers. Over time, energy demand has become increasingly complex due to the increased use of renewables and electric vehicles (EVs), which have driven enhancements to our transmission and distribution infrastructure.

As the global energy transition unfolds, smart grid technology will play an increasingly important role to provide efficiency and reliability throughout energy networks.

Benefits of a Smart Grid

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a ‘smart grid’ will improve the existing grid through:

  • More efficient transmission of electricity
  • Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
  • Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
  • Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates
  • Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
  • Better integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), including renewable energy systems, batteries, and EVs
  • Improved security
How our operating companies are working to advance these benefits:

Oncor

In Texas, Oncor is deploying innovative smart grid technology to support growing industry in the Lone Star State. Oncor’s smart grid helps improve safety through advanced power outage tracking. Thanks to an advanced monitoring system, Oncor is able to respond to a power outage and restore power quickly.

Oncor is also building and integrating solar and wind energy within its electric distribution network to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy network. This helps reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of energy distribution.

SDG&E

SDG&E utilizes smart grid technology in its wildfire safety prevention and response. With one of the largest utility-owned weather monitoring networks in the nation, SDG&E leverages artificial intelligence to help predict which circuits are most prone to fires due to adverse weather conditions. Combine this with satellite-enabled wildfire alerts and the result is a smarter grid that can detect a falling power line and send a response notice before the line hits the ground.

PXiSE Energy Solutions

PXiSE Energy Solutions is a leading grid controls technology company with over 700 MW of projects across three continents. PXiSE (pronounced "pice") provides leading smart grid technology designed to empower utilities, developers, and asset owners to manage their energy resources and energy delivery more reliably and efficiently with renewable power plant controls, distributed energy resource management systems and microgrids.

PXiSE’s grid controls platform — backed with 13 U.S. patents — helps support the transition from a centralized grid with one-way power flow to a more dynamic, high-speed grid. PXiSE utilizes autonomous controls that can orchestrate smart grid technology to achieve the harmony of resilience, safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

At Sempra Energy, our companies will continue to invest in smart grid technology to help lead the global energy transition and advance our mission to be North America’s premier energy infrastructure company.