Xcel Energy has completed construction of what they are calling the "first fully functioning smart grid enabled city in the world," located in Boulder, CO.
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) has finished construction of the infrastructure and installed the remaining software to enable all SmartGridCity operational functions in the city of Boulder, Colorado, marking the launch of what the company is calling the "first fully functioning smart grid enabled city in the world."
Xcel says the new system is the first of its kind to increase reliability, provides customers with greater energy use information, and allows participating customers and Xcel Energy to control in-home energy management devices remotely when demand calls for it.
“As measurable results continue to be achieved in the coming months, we look forward to continued improvements in operating efficiencies, as well as new and improved services for the citizens of Boulder, Colorado,” said Tim Taylor, president and CEO, Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “We have learned a tremendous amount from our installation of SmartGridCity and anticipate additional benefits for us and all of our customers.”
The $100 million venture ties together all the automated functions of SmartGridCity including: switching power through fully automated substations; re-routing power around bottlenecked lines; detecting power outages and proactively identifying outage risks. The deployment integrated more than 20 applications, 95 new interfaces and more than 300 test cases.
“We can now read customer meters remotely, identify and reduce outages and false power outage calls more quickly,” said Jay Herrmann, Xcel Energy regional vice president. “By cutting the number of times we send crews out to those calls, we can make our crews more productive. Combining those efficiencies while reducing outages will allow us to capture cost-savings more appropriately and benefit our customers.”
Customers in the service area will soon have access to the in-home energy management platforms, provided by GridPoint, that will give all customers with one of the nearly 16,000 new, "smart" meters the ability to review energy use in the home. The website will allow customers to design and personalize their energy use to their own lifestyle and needs.
I had a chance to tour Xcel's model smart grid home last summer and was impressed with both the GridPoint user platform as well as the amount and quality of data that was being fed back to one of several screens in the house, including a home computer, television, and a mobile device.