Smart Grid | June 09, 2009 |
Duke Energy, Cisco Partner on Smart Grid Development
The three-year partnership is the latest development in Duke Energy's effort to convert its existing electricity delivery infrastructure into an advanced smart grid that uses two-way digital communication to reduce energy usage, improve efficiency, bolster system reliability, detect power outages, and integrate solar and other renewable energy sources into the electric grid.
Cisco and Duke Energy will work together to develop a smart grid communications architecture.
The newly created architecture will be based on what the industry calls "internet protocol-based open standards"--an approach that permits easy accommodation of new and emerging communications technology as it becomes available in future years.
"Internet protocol-based open standards are key to creating a smart, highly-secure backbone for the nation's modern electrical grid," said Martin De Beer, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Emerging Technologies Group.
The two companies will jointly evaluate a variety of smart grid communications hardware and software, and oversee installation and testing of selected equipment and software throughout Duke Energy's electric grid.
In addition, Cisco will work with Duke Energy to develop and install home energy management devices to help customers control and reduce their electricity consumption.
"Our goal is to rapidly transform the way electricity is delivered to, and used by, the 11 million people we serve in five states," said Todd Arnold, senior vice president for smart grid and customer systems at Duke Energy, America's third-largest electric utility.
The two companies also will test a new generation of durable, weather-proof communications equipment designed for use at Duke Energy's electric substations.
"Replacing our analog electric grid with advanced digital technology to create a 21st century electricity delivery system largely involves data, networks and communications--all of it Cisco's expertise," Arnold said.
In Ohio, Duke Energy later this year will launch a five-year mass deployment of smart grid technology, including more than 700,000 electric smart meters and 450,000 natural gas smart meters.
In Indiana, Duke Energy is seeking approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to install extensive smart grid technology, including approximately 800,000 smart meters.
Duke Energy yesterday announced it had reached a settlement agreement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and key consumer and business groups regarding the company's Indiana smart grid proposal.
The company also said it is laying the groundwork to bring large-scale smart grid technology to three other states it serves--North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky.
Reprinted with permission from Sustainable Business