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Glossary

Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)
Responsible for the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System.
Ancillary Services
Support the reliable operation of the transmission system as it moves electricity from generating sources to end users. Services that are essential to ensure electricity can be transmitted reliably, efficiently and securely across the grid.
Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS)
A nonprofit organization that works to establish and grow a demand response and Smart Grid community of policymakers, utilities, system operators, technology companies, consumers, and other stakeholders.
Area Regulation Signal
A signal generated by a regional control centre and sent to the Load Serving Entities (LSEs) or other controllable entities to change generation quickly to keep the areas control error within allowable limits (used to control small fluctuations in load).
Automatic Generation Control (AGC)
The function of an emergency management system application that automatically adjusts generation to meet the load.
Black - Out
A cut-off of electrical power, especially as a result of a shortage, a mechanical failure, or overuse by consumers.
Brown - Out
A reduction or cut-back in electric power, especially as a result of a shortage, a mechanical failure, or overuse by consumers.
Carbon Offset
One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases.
Carbon Footprint
The overall impact that a person, business, or organization has on the global climate in terms of the total amount of greenhouse gases produced.
California Independent System Operator (CAISO)
A not-for-profit organization that independently operates California's wholesale power grid and is responsible for maintaining reliability and directing flow in the transmission system.
Curtailment
The process of decreasing electric demand.
Curtailment Service Provider
A member who participates in the PJM Interchange Market by causing a reduction in demand.
Demand Response
Shifting demand for electricity to non-peak periods or reducing electricity use during periods of peak demand.
Demand-Side Management (DSM)
Refers to the use of demand (loads) to help manage the constantly changing requirements of the electricity system.
Distribution
The delivery of electricity to end users (including homes, businesses, etc.).
Energy Efficiency
The efficient use of energy; consuming less energy to provide the same level of energy service.
Electric Utility
An authority that owns and/or operates facilities for the generation, transmission, distribution, or sale of electric energy primarily for use by the public.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
Operates the electric grid and manages the deregulated market for 75 percent of the state of Texas.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
An independent federal agency within the United States Department of Energy that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity.
Firming
The process by which a backup resource is used to supplement the output of an intermittent resource to ensure that the total energy provided is sufficient to meet customer load.
Frequency Regulation
The ability of a system operator to help the regional electricity system to maintain scheduled frequency. This assistance can include both turbine governor response and Automatic Generation Control.
Generation
The process of producing electric energy or the amount of electric energy produced (kWh).
Generator
A machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Generator Efficiency
Utilizing demand-side loads to help offset the aggressive ramp increase and decrease of generators to allow them to operate at optimal set-points.
Greenhouse Gas
Gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range.
Grid
The layout of an electrical distribution system.
Grid Balance®
A Smart Grid program that balances the electricity grid using demand-side loads in, real-time. This service ensures that supply and demand remain balanced. Grid Balance is also known as Regulation Service by electricity system operators.
Hydroelectric Plant
A plant in which the turbine generators are driven by falling water.
Independent Electricity System Operator of Ontario (IESO)
Responsible for the day-to-day operation of Ontario's electrical system. The IESO is the heart of Ontarios power system by connecting generators, transmitters and retailers of electricity.
Independent System Operator New England (ISO-NE)
A not-for-profit corporation responsible for the day-to-day reliable operation of New England's bulk power generation and transmission system.
Independent System Operator (ISO)
An independent organization that is responsible for coordinating, controlling and monitoring the operation of the electrical power system in a particular geographic area; similar to Regional Transmission Organization.
kWh - Kilowatt hour
The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.
Load (electric)
The amount of electric power delivered or required at any specific point or points on a system.
Load Factor
Refers to the average load divided by the peak load over a period of time, usually calculated over a one-hour period (LF = average demand / peak demand).
Load Shedding
A procedure in which parts of an electric power system temporarily reduce the supply of electricity to an area to prevent failure of the entire system due to overloading.
MW - Megawatt
Measure of the instantaneous amount of power required (and supplied) in the electricity system (1 MW is one million watts of electricity).
MWh - Megawatt hours
Similar to KWh, this unit is often used for metering larger amounts of electrical energy to industrial customers and in power generation.
Midwest ISO (MISO)
An essential link in the safe, cost-effective delivery of electric power across all or parts of 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
New Brunswick System Operator (NBSO)
A not-for-profit independent corporation whose primary responsibilities are to ensure the reliability of the electrical system and to facilitate the development and operation of competitive electricity market in New Brunswick.
New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)
A not-for-profit corporation that administers the state's wholesale energy markets and operates the state's high voltage transmission system.
North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC)
A voluntary organization whose mission is to ensure that the bulk electric system in North America is reliable, safe, and secure.
NOC
ENBALAs 24/7/365 Network Operations Center.
Operating Reserve
The generating capacity available to the system operator within a short interval of time to meet demand in case a generator goes down or there is another disruption to the supply.
Peak Demand
The maximum demand on an electric system in a designated period of time.
Peak Load
The maximum demand for electricity from all of the customers of a utility or over a geographic area.
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
Digital computers used for automation of electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or lighting fixtures. PLCs are used in many industries and machines.
PJM Interconnection (PJM)
Ensures the reliability of the largest centrally dispatched control area in North America by coordinating the movement of electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Regional Transmission Organization (RTO)
An independent organization that coordinates, controls, and monitors the operation of the electrical power system and supply in a particular geographic area; similar to Independent System Operator.
Regulation Service (Grid Balance®)
The fundamental requirement to balance the moment by moment changes in supply and demand in the electricity system.
Renewable Resources
Naturally, but flow-limited resources that can be replenished. Renewable energy resources include: biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
Refers to industrial control systems: computer systems that monitor and control industrial, infrastructure, or facility-based processes.
Smart Grid
Use of two-way communications systems to monitor and automatically optimize the operation of the elements of the power system. This includes communication from the generator through the high-voltage network and distribution system, to end-use consumers and their thermostats, appliances and other household devices.
Southwest Power Pool (SPP)
Provides reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity in nine states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Spinning Reserve
The unloaded section of synchronized power that is able to respond immediately to serve the load, and is fully available within ten minutes.
Synchronized Reserve Market (Sync Reserve)
The capability that can be converted fully into energy within 10 minutes or customer load that can be removed from the system within 10 minutes of the request from the PJM dispatcher, and must be provided by equipment electrically synchronized to the system.
Transmission
The flow of electricity over interconnected electric lines from a generation facility to local distribution lines.
Turbine
A machine for generating rotary mechanical power from the energy of a stream of fluid (such as water, steam, or hot gas).
Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)
A system for controlling the rotational speed of an alternating current (AC) electric motor, by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor. A variable frequency drive is a specific type of adjustable-speed drive.
Voltage Optimization
The systematic reduction in the voltage at the energy consumer to reduce energy use, power demand and reactive power demand.
Water Energy Nexus
The fundamental requirement to balance the moment by moment changes in supply and demand in the electricity system.
Wind Integration
Utilizing demand-side loads to respond to the moment-to-moment needs of the electrical grid, in this case backfilling the intermittency of wind.