President Obama’s recent announcement of federal investment in a national energy grid has resulted in two SD energy cooperatives starting smart grid systems. Black Hills Power and Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric Company will begin installing smart meters for 92,000 members in SD, MN, and ND. Meters will allow residents to monitor their electricity usage, thus giving them the ability to choose when to run appliances based on the times when rates are lowest (and there is less load on the system). Scientific studies have shown the potential to reduce the strain on times of peak loads by 15% and result in an average 10% decrease in electricity bills per household.
While the project begins for system installation, Augie Green members (a group of environmentally-minded college students) are busy writing letters to show their support for this transition to energy alternatives that allow individuals to be more aware of their energy consumption and make choices that benefit not only the environment but their checkbooks.
For more information, read: PARKS, NOREEN. Environmental Science & Technology, 43, 9, 2999-3000, 2009. also: Gabrukiewicz, Thom. “S.D. energy gets $9 million boost.” Argus Leader. 27 Oct. 2009.