T&D World Magazine

Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Selects Silver Spring Networks for Smart Grid Rollout

Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. has announced that, in support of Ontario’s landmark Green Energy and Economy Act, it has selected Silver Spring Networks to provide its Smart Energy Platform for 48,000 customers in the Guelph community.

Implementation of Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform in 2010 will provide the foundation for enabling two-way communications between customer electricity meters and Guelph Hydro’s back-office systems. This will enable the provision of detailed energy information to customers, enhance network reliability, and improve power outage management. By connecting utilities and homes, the Smart Grid is transforming the way people think about and consume energy.

“It is all about smarter, greener, more environmentally sustainable energy management using sophisticated technology and devices,” said Barry Chuddy, CEO of Guelph Hydro Inc. “By investing today in implementing Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform technology, Guelph Hydro is preparing for the energy future of tomorrow that will be cleaner, more efficient, reliable, resilient and responsive – a smarter grid.”

“Ontario’s energy landscape is changing rapidly,” said Chuddy. “As Guelph’s local electricity distributor, we have a responsibility to ensure the infrastructure is in place so our community can take full advantage of widespread deployment of renewable energy sources, incorporate smart home appliances and other devices as they come on the market, and adjust to an influx of plug-in hybrid electric cars. I predict all these advancements will sweep across society at a pace that will surprise us all.”

Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform is an open, IP standards-based technology platform that connects smart meters, high-efficiency transformers, renewable and traditional power generation sources, and other yet-to-be-invented consumer appliances and devices through a sophisticated energy information monitoring and control system. This system will continuously monitor the status of the Smart Grid, identify outages and automatically fix them or dispatch crews to restore power faster, and provide useful information to both the utility and the consumer.

“The first step in creating a Smart Grid is the deployment of smart meters,” said Matt Weninger, Director of Metering and Communications for Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. “To date, we have installed more than 5,500 smart meters in support of the province’s mandate that all Ontario residents and small businesses be equipped with a smart meter by the end of 2010.”

The rest of Guelph Hydro’s customers are slated to receive their smart meters sometime between now and the end of the year. Customers will be notified before being migrated to time-of-use pricing for electricity in 2011. Smart meters and time-of-use rates will provide customers with the ability to better manage their energy costs and take action that can help improve the environment.

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