Demonstration Grants Will Accelerate Comprehensive Smart Grid Program,
Increase Energy Efficiency, Support New Jobs, and Boost Reliability

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) was today awarded over $60 million in Smart Grid Demonstration funding—the most of any other municipally-owned utility in the country—to “green the grid” by developing, deploying and testing advanced smart grid technologies in partnership with a consortium of top Southern California research institutes including USC, UCLA, and CalTech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Announced this morning by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Smart Grid Demonstration grants will jumpstart LADWP’s efforts to build a smarter, greener and more efficient electric grid, as well as enhance power reliability, and create green jobs for Los Angeles.

“We are extremely pleased that the Department of Water and Power was chosen as the recipient of this grant, and particularly proud that we received largest grant award of any municipal utility in the nation and the second largest of any utility period,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This award is the result of a great collaboration among LADWP, USC, UCLA, and CalTech/JPL to modernize our electric grid. Going forward, the LADWP will work to prove the viability of smart grid technology so that it can be applied throughout this great city, and I am confident that with this grant funding, they will be successful.”

The grant funds will significantly enhance LADWP’s 10-year, $1 billion Smart Grid Program that is currently underway.

“Our ratepayers will be the ultimate beneficiaries – the Smart Grid technology will empower them to save energy and cut their utility bills,” said Lee Kanon Alpert, president of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “The Smart Grid Demonstration Program also has the potential to serve as national model that will provide measurable benefits and knowledge for the entire utility industry.”

“The Smart Grid program will help LADWP more efficiently manage its energy resources by knowing how much energy is being consumed and where it’s being consumed, identifying waste and inefficiency, forecasting demand and outages in real time, and an overall reduction in energy consumption across all customer classes,” LADWP Interim General Manager S. David Freeman said.

The program will use the USC and UCLA campuses as testing grounds for innovative technologies to prove the viability of the demonstration technology. Through a number of demonstration projects, LADWP and the research institutes will gather data on how consumers use energy in a variety of systems, testing the next generation of cyber-security technologies, and cutting-edge methods of integrating a significant number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles onto the grid. This work will provide invaluable data on the benefits and cost-effectiveness of various technologies, which will save time and money down the road.

The universities will serve as microcosms of the entire city, providing an innovative “micro-grid” where to carry out testing in real-time within each campus environment.

LADWP’s Smart Grid Program is designed to fully integrate and automate LADWP’s vast power system, from customer meters to its largest power plants. The program dovetails with the utility’s long-term goals to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power generators, and improve power system infrastructure and reliability with smart technology.

The regional demonstration project includes four interrelated project initiatives that are aligned with the objectives of the Obama Administration’s National Smart Grid Demonstration Program. These include:

Initiative I: A fully integrated demonstration of Smart Grid operation and technology as applied to demand response. The university campuses will be used as testing grounds replicating a full range of user infrastructure environments including commercial, medical, retail, semi-industrial, and residential.

Initiative II: Conduct a comprehensive portfolio of behavioral studiesLADWP will use the fully-integrated community and physical/information management infrastructure to identify people’s behavior and energy use to inform successful adoption of Smart Grid technologies.

Initiative III: Demonstrate next-generation cyber-security technologies. The regional project will drive specific system architecture and models, enabled by Caltech and JPL existing cyber-security test beds at Caltech and JPL.

Initiative IV: Demonstrate the integration of electric vehicles into the LADWP-managed grid. Both UCLA and USC have large (partially electric) vehicle fleets which will afford Los Angeles an opportunity to test electric vehicles in both the controlled environment of a corporate fleet and the “real world” usage of individuals, without having to equip individual residences with charging stations.

The LADWP Smart Grid Program will support nationwide compatibility with the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) interoperability standards and protocols. The program also establishes controls aimed at mitigating cyber security risks to maintain reliable electricity for customers.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility, provides reliable, low-cost water and power services to the City’s 4 million residents in an environmentally responsible manner. For more information, visit