By Triangle Business Journal

Duke Energy goes back to Indiana regulators next week looking for approval of a scaled-down proposal for smart grid operations in that state.

Despite the promise of more efficient energy use, greater reliability and new services, smart grid is often proving a tough sell. It certainly was in Indiana. In November, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission s hot down Dukeâ¿¿s initial $450 million proposal for a complete rollout of the digital, interactive technology across the state.

The commission said there were no demonstrable benefits for customers.

Now, says SNL Energy, Duke is back with a much smaller $22 million proposal. Duke has gone from proposing installing 800,000 smart meters over six years trying the system with 40,000 meters over about a year.

The company will collect data for a year after that. It then hopes to be able to demonstrate to regulators in the state that the program should be implemented statewide.

Ohio regulators have approved a full scale smart-grid plan for Duke in that state. The company does not expect to implement smart-grid operations in the Carolinas until about 2017, after the Midwest operations are in place.

Duke (NYSE: DUK) provides electricity to Durham, Chapel Hill and most of the western Triangle.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010