SOURCE: Optimal Technologies International, Inc.

December 23, 2008 03:01 ET

Media Advisory: Green Technology Leader Urges New Vision for Smart Grid

Optimal Technologies Releases Recommended Course of Action for Obama Administration, Congress, State Leaders

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - December 23, 2008) - Optimal Technologies International, Inc., the leading developer of technologies to optimize power grid systems, is urging the incoming presidential administration to take the necessary steps to bring about a truly smart grid, establishing a legacy that will ensure safety, security, and a green, clean future.

President-elect Obama was swept into office due to his visionary leadership, which includes aggressive goals for a transition to renewable energy, as well as a smart grid that can handle plug-in hybrids, innovative new demand-side business opportunities to create a large number of new jobs, and the ability for ordinary consumers to sell electricity back to the grid.

While many are calling for incremental changes to stave off the inevitable meltdown of the grid system, Optimal Technologies urges incoming leadership to take a fresh and serious look at the nation's grid and implement changes that reflect deep and lasting shifts in policy.

"Such leaders as Vice President Al Gore and Google CEO Eric Schmidt are advocating that we advance beyond our dependency on polluting coal, as well as move quickly to upgrade our ailing grid system. For this to occur, we must demand a sea change in the way that electricity is managed, both from a business and operational standpoint," said Roland Schoettle, Optimal Chairman and CEO. "This, in turn, requires a new regulatory environment, at both the federal and state levels."

According to power industry researcher the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), smart grid technologies are a cost efficient approach to meeting new energy policy goals, with the potential for reducing consumption by a significant amount, while putting renewables online at a far faster rate than would otherwise be possible.

Meanwhile, key overseers such as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) are warning that our present day grid system is woefully unprepared to keep pace with consumer and policy maker demands. The nonprofit Edison Electric Institute recently estimated that the grid will require $1.5 to $2 trillion in upgrades over the next 20 years if we continue on our present trajectory. To put this amount in perspective, it is more than twice the entire federal bailout package.

Yet, much of this can be avoided if we instead move towards the implementation of an optimized genius grid. The genius grid of the future will be an optimized mix of legacy transmission, distribution, and generation, but will also include new clean/green demand-side micro-grid technologies that allow buildings and communities to be environmentally responsible.

Such new genius grids will use the smartest of the present smart grid technologies to provide altogether new visibility into, and optimization of, the supply and demand-side using innovative grid-connected generation technologies. Wherever possible these new generation technologies must be renewable and must be optimized to provide maximum local and wide-area benefits using the grid as the energy delivery backbone.

If done right, this new genius grid will:

--  Accommodate and optimize the addition of "utility-scale" renewables;
    
--  Accommodate and optimize the addition of small renewable generation
    (especially new clean/green generation made more difficult to accommodate
    due to its intermittent nature);
    
--  Significantly reduce the price tag on infrastructure improvements to
    meet known needs for security, reliability and environmentally related
    improvements in the old grid;
    
--  Accommodate and optimize the movement from gas to electricity in the
    US and international vehicle fleets;
    
--  Encourage all forms of innovative electric vehicles to feed back power
    into the grid and also offer grid regulation to offset variable generation
    from renewables -- otherwise previously impossible;
    
--  Accommodate a new paradigm and scalable framework for the creation of
    a vast number of new high value jobs and innovative technologies.
    

"These recommendations are tantamount to a complete rethinking of how power is managed, bought and sold," said Schoettle. "For those who urge a more cautious approach, there's nothing safe about continuing to rely on the same old methodologies that have resulted in a disaster prone grid that doesn't meet our present requirements for information-age power quality, doesn't meet our need to maximize clean and green, and doesn't invite nearly enough innovative new jobs. If we as a nation are to remain globally competitive, we must act boldly to upgrade the aging infrastructure and replace it with one that can handle the increasing demands placed on it."

These improvements need not be as costly as some are predicting, and as Barack Obama has himself pointed out, millions of American jobs will be created if America takes steps to build a smart grid and open up the electrical industry. In addition, innovative technologies to improve the network, such as the AEMPFAST platform, are already on the market today.

"A greener, more efficient, and highly intelligent grid is within our grasp. Let's not let it slip away," said Schoettle.

If you would like to learn more about Optimal Technologies, the smart grid, or speak about this with Roland Schoettle, please contact Amy Neal or Sunshine Mugrabi at LaunchSquad: (415) 625-8555 or email: otii(at)launchsquad(dot)com.

About Optimal Technologies

Optimal Technologies develops solutions to help power utilities, businesses and consumers maximize their energy efficiency and minimize their carbon footprint. The company's mission is to enable a more efficient, reliable and environmentally responsible electric power grid. Optimal's unique products and services have the potential to create unprecedented industry, economic, environmental and consumer benefits worldwide. Optimal is a privately held company financed by Goldman Sachs International.

Contact Information

  • Corporate Contact
    Lynette E. McInnes
    (919) 459-9818
    lynettem(at)otii(dot)com