Energy efficiency and the white space spectrum have come together thanks to Google, a young company specializing in wireless tech, and an electric utility that also deals in telecommunications. The organizations announced that the first smart grid wireless network trial is underway.
This test has apparently been in progress for a while in a rather isolated part of California (covering Plumas, Lassen and Sierra Counties), in fact, and Google, Spectrum Bridge, and the Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative feel everything's going well.
An official statement explained, "The applications deployed for the Plumas-Sierra 'Smart Grid' wireless network trial deliver real-time broadband connectivity to remote substations and switchgear, allowing PSREC System Operators to manage the Electrical system remotely, request critical data from substations, manage power flow and protect the system and employees while maintaining the local grid."
What's more, this has turned into an opportunity for Google's PowerMeter to be deployed, and "[t]he wireless network is also providing broadband access to an underserved community."
Just about everyone (except potential competitors) appears to be benefiting, then, and not a single drawback's been identified (the organizations even took care that this white space experiment wouldn't interfere with the reception regular TV channels).
Despite sharing all this promising information, Google and Spectrum Bridge weren't quite ready to say when similar experiments might be repeated in other areas, however.