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IBM to Smarten up Australian Grid

[Editor's note: this article originally appeared on BusinessGreen, and is reprinted with permission.]

The Western Australian city of Perth is to become the latest to roll out smart technologies after energy firm Western Power yesterday signed a major deal with IBM to install smart grid systems across the city.

The project will involve the rollout of smart meters to all homes in the city and surrounding area and the installation of a communications infrastructure to transfer energy usage information.

IBM will also help the utility design an open-standard smart grid that will better enable distributed and community energy generation projects, improve energy supply-and-demand data, cut energy losses from across the city's transmission networks, and support the city's $73.5m (£41m) plan to establish itself as Australia's leading "solar city."

{related_content}Lisa Cunningham, Western Power's smart grid manager, said that with electricity prices rising, the smart meters and smart grid functionality would help customers improve the efficiency of their energy use.

In addition to the rollout of new technologies, residents will be offered free energy advisory services and generous price reductions on solar hot water and solar photovoltaic systems.

The deal is another feather in IBM's cap, as the company has emerged as one of the leading players in the fast-expanding smart grid market. The firm says it is working on seven of the world's 10 largest advanced meter management projects, and is involved in almost 50 smart grid engagements around the world.

Perth photo CC-licensed by Flickr user Rob Inh00d.

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