Public Service Commission
PSC’s Gardner Named to National “Smart Grid” Panel - Group is collaboration among state and federal regulators
Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) Vice Chairman Jim Gardner has been named to a national panel examining issues relating to the transition to a smart electrical grid.
Gardner is one of 19 state utility commissioners serving on the Smart Grid Collaborative jointly sponsored by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
“Smart grid” is the term used to describe the array of new technologies being developed to operate the nation’s electric transmission and distribution infrastructure. The technologies are intended to make the grid more reliable and efficient and to facilitate energy conservation.
The Smart Grid Collaborative group meets regularly to discuss issues such as the engineering behind the new technologies, how they will be integrated into existing infrastructure and the implications for electric rates.
“Smart grid technology is one of the cornerstones of our nation’s energy policy,” Gardner said. “Without it, we will not be able to achieve the needed environmental and economic improvements in the way that we provide electricity to our nation’s consumers.”
Gardner was appointed to the collaborative by NARUC President Frederick Butler of New Jersey and FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, who head the group.
“I am pleased to have this opportunity, which I am sure will be of great value in my work at the PSC and our commitment to see that Kentucky reaps the benefits of these new technologies,” Gardner said.
PSC Chairman David Armstrong said that Gardner has become a student of smart grid.
“Since joining the PSC, Vice Chairman Gardner has made smart grid one of his points of emphasis in examining the work of our electric utilities,” Armstrong said. “His appointment to the collaborative is both appropriate and well deserved.”
Governor Steve Beshear appointed Gardner as vice chairman of the PSC on June 16, 2008. His term expires on July 1, 2012.
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 100 employees.