When you flip the light switch or turn up your thermostat, you expect the juice to start flowing. It’s as simple as that.
But in an age of distributed power generation and storage, intermittent renewables, electric cars, smart grid technology, fast-changing wholesale electricity markets, climate change and ever-present cyber threats, the old model of providing reliable and affordable power is being turned on its head.
For Portland General Electric and its 900,000 customers in Oregon, nowhere is that more apparent than at its integrated operations center in Tualatin. The futuristic, $207 million building is the utility’s new nerve center, tying together management of its far-flung fleet of power plants, energy storage facilities, transmission and local distribution lines, energy trading, emergency operations, meteorologists and other mission-critical functions under one, very secure roof.
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