New technology promises to help keep lights on during energy crunches

GE launches PowerOn Precision technology

CORONADO, Calif. - 10News on Tuesday received a first look at a new technology that promises to help keep the lights on.

When the sunshine heats up San Diego, the power lines can be stressed trying to get energy to homes and businesses.

When things go wrong, the area can be left in the dark. On Sept. 8, 2011, 1.4 million people in Southern California were without power.

SDG&E pinpointed the cause to operator error by a service employee working on a substation near Yuma, Ariz. A line failed and the effects rippled from Mexico to San Diego and Orange counties.

With the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station still offline and its future uncertain, energy use continues to be a big concern for San Diegans.

"When those 90-degree weather days are out there and the air conditioners are filling on, how do you help supply energy and demand efficiently?" asked Mark Hura, who is the general sales manager for North America for GE's Digital Energy Business.

He said said the answer is technology they call "PowerOn Precision."

"The utility can actually look at whether it's actually a utility load, a commercial load or a residential program and help to optimize some of that supply and demand," said Hura.

It is a demand response system that lets utility companies manage the amount of energy used as needed. They do that by following the power along the grid, down to the electron.

"As a power electron leaves a power station and the electron leaves the power station, we've got the ability, the visibility to control that electron as it moves physically from the station to home," said Brian Bradford, the director of Smart Grid Solutions for GE Energy Services.

That is so every home or business receives the right amount of energy that is needed.

GE told 10News they are talking with a few local companies about bringing the new technology to San Diego.

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