If there is an official buzzword registry, smartgrid definitely makes the list. But what is it, really? The daily news brings word of from Miami to Australia on how the coming smartgrid will: save us bundles of CO2, let our electric cars talk to our power meters, allow hackers to plunge us into darkness, or become the next big oil. The truth is there is no one definition or set of implications, though the first formal standards are showing through. The best way to define the smartgrid is by example, and here's a creative one.The University of Mississippi has outfitted its campus buildings with smart meters, each assigned a unique IP address, which are able to share their data electronically. The manufacturer of the meters, SmartSynch, has teamed with AT&T; to facilitate the transfer of bits. In a cute twist, each campus building will get its own Facebook page and a Twitter and RSS feed, making electricity usage public knowledge. Daily Facebook postings for the historic Lyceum building are accompanied by commentary: "Usage was down 5.60%, but we gotta stay focused - the peak was up by 6.67%."
Hopefully "Ole Miss" won't be offended the Lyceum don't get many Facebook buddies, but the fact that consumption info is publicly catalogued is a bold step, especially in a university environment where it could be used for everything from action campaigns to research projects. Via CNET