T&D World Magazine

EnergyAustralia Selects IBM for Smart Grid, Smart City Initiative

IBM has announced its role as the systems integration partner for the $100 million Smart Grid, Smart City initiative led by the EnergyAustralia consortium. IBM will play a pivotal role, as a member of the consortium, in the development of Australia's first smart grid network, following the formal contract signing of the deal between EnergyAustralia and the Australian Government.

Under the agreement with EnergyAustralia, IBM will build on its existing work on EnergyAustralia's Smart Grid Program, to deliver distributed generation, smart metering and demand management solutions.

This three-year project will begin immediately across five sites in Sydney and the Hunter (Newcastle, Scone, Sydney CBD, Ku-ring-gai and Newington). It will represent Australia's first commercial-scale smart grid. The technology will allow residents to see real-time analysis of electricity usage for their households and even for individual appliances, to help them make better decisions about energy efficiency in their homes and minimise their environmental impact.

The smart grid demonstration will also test real-time, complex information about grid performance in order to improve control over the network for Australian energy transmission and distribution companies.

Smart grid infrastructure uses sensors, meters, digital services and analytic tools to automate, monitor and control the two-way flow of energy across operations - from power plant to plug. By combining advanced communication, sensing and metering infrastructure with existing energy networks, smart grids enable the delivery of a more efficient, robust and consumer-friendly electricity network.

Benefits include:

  • Energy efficiency: The system will enable sophisticated analysis of consumption patterns enabling a real-time view of energy use to identify opportunities for reduction.
  • Analytics: Customers will have an internet window to their technical and commercial data, to track current consumption and choose the most appropriate agreements.

The EnergyAustralia Consortium consists of technology companies including IBM and GE Energy Australia; AGL, Sydney Water, Hunter Water and Newcastle City Council.

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