Welcome to the Smart Grid Test Bed

Together, we'll discover ways to support a clean energy future

PGE Receives Department of Energy Grant for Smart Grid Test Bed

PGE has been selected to receive a U.S. Department of Energy grant of $6.65M that will allow us to bring more resources into our North Portland Smart Grid Test Bed. The project will include retrofitting approximately 580 buildings in the Overlook/Arbor Lodge area, a portion of which includes historically underserved communities, while developing 1.4 MW of "flexible load" made up of rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging, smart devices like thermostats and water heaters, and more.

A community approach to shaping Oregon’s energy future 

Watch our short video to learn how innovative new programs and technologies can be used to challenge the traditional ways of looking at energy use with PGE’s Smart Grid Test Bed.

Welcome to the Smart Grid Test Bed

Together, we'll make a big difference 

In the Smart Grid Test Bed — a multi-year learning program around Hillsboro, Milwaukie and in North Portland — community members can get rewarded for taking simple actions that shift their energy use away from peak times, which enables a smarter, more flexible and more efficient energy grid.

  • Smart grid technology uses a community-driven approach to balance energy use at peak times, lowering costs and allowing us to use more sustainable energy resources.

  • In the Test Bed, we are testing innovative programs (and offering new benefits). Test Bed participants get special perks, and together we'll build a cleaner, brighter tomorrow. We all win!

See if your home or business is in a Test Bed

Our Smart Grid Test Beds are in the Hillsboro, Milwaukie, and North Portland neighborhoods.

Test Bed participants get extra perks

Here’s what you can look forward to if you live or operate your business in a Test Bed neighborhood.

Extra Rewards

Did you know that you can support our Smart Grid Test Bed community while also saving at amazing local restaurants, grocers, bakeries and other businesses that purchase renewable power? As a Smart Grid Test Bed resident, you have access to coupons through the free Chinook Book mobile app.

Be on the lookout for activation codes we will be sending this season.

Sneak Peeks

From smart grid-connected appliances and battery storage to Home EV charging incentives, you get early access to programs designed to help you reduce energy and save money.  

See below for details. 

The smart grid at home

Test Bed participants are automatically enrolled in new energy saving programs like Peak Time Rebates, and have access to other innovative programs:

Help us learn about your EV charging habits, find out how to charge smarter, and earn rewards while helping make Oregon’s clean energy future a reality. Learn more and enroll.

Get energy storage batteries that contribute to the grid and give you a back-up energy resource in case of an outage. Learn more and enroll.

If you have a qualifying smart water heater, we’ll automatically shift the heating of your water to a time of the day or night when demand is lower.  It’s easy – your water heater does all the work and you get all the rewards! Learn more and enroll.

When energy use is high and we call a Peak Time Event, your new Flair Puck smart thermostat will adjust your ductless heat pump by about two degrees for a few hours. You don’t have to do anything but sit back and collect the rewards. Learn more and enroll.

The smart grid at work

Businesses in the Test Bed also get perks for saving energy when they participate in the Energy Partner Smart Thermostat program. 

The Energy Partner program pays your business to reduce or shift some of your energy use for a few hours when demand is high – usually hot summer or cold winter days. If everyone uses a little less energy during these times, it decreases the need to buy more expensive power to meet that demand, which helps keep energy prices lower for everyone. 

Our role

The smart grid is a necessary upgrade to meet our shared climate and community goals. The Test Bed will be the hub that brings together separate pieces of technology and energy delivery to produce a more integrated grid for the future.

To build the Test Bed, we will upgrade existing feeders and substations — the equipment we use to move electricity — with advanced automation distribution technologies. These upgraded sensors, processors and communication devices can help improve reliability and service quality. They’ll also transform the traditional one-way flow of electricity into a two-way flow of electricity and information.

We’re here to help

Do you have more questions about the Test Bed or smart grids? We’d be glad to answer them. Contact us at smartgridtestbed@pgn.com, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.