IBM and Consert, a Raleigh, N.C.-based intelligent energy distribution and management network provider, announced the completion of a smart grid pilot project coordinated in conjunction with the Fayetteville Public Works Commission (FPWC) in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
During a six-month pilot, almost 100 commercial and residential participants used Consert software with smart meter and software applications technology based on IBM software including DB2, WebSphere and Tivoli. Some participating households saw a reduction in energy consumption of up to 40 percent, something John Morrison, North Carolina Commerce Assistant Secretary for Energy, thinks bodes well for his state.
“By demonstrating an effective smart grid consumer application, Fayetteville Public Works Commission is taking a significant step to further smart grid adoption,” Mr. Morrison said in a statement. “I am optimistic about growth in this part of the green economy, creating benefits for consumers and utilities, as well as creating jobs, spurring innovation and attracting investments for the application of intelligent technology to how we deliver and use electricity.”
Participants were able to set daily use profiles, check energy consumption in real-time from an Internet connection, select monthly target bill amounts, and authorize FPWC to cycle their appliance off during peak energy consumption periods. Network connectivity was provided by Verizon Wireless, and according to IBM officials, consumers will be able to perform these same tasks from PDAs and mobile phones by early next year.
“The only way we’re going make energy grids greener is to add instrumentation and intelligence. Projects like these illustrate that with the right technology and partnerships, it can be done,” said Chris O’Connor, Vice President Strategy & Market Management for IBM Tivoli Software in a statement.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) set aside nearly $4 billion for smart grid advancement, with more than $615 million for regional demonstration projects. IBM is working with clients in nearly 50 smart grid projects, the company said. And earlier this year, they announced a financing program to provide prospective clients access to $2 billion in key stimulus areas, including smart grid deployment and research.
“Technology is at the core of the next generation of smart grids and IBM is making significant investments into research, skills development and partners to make smart grids a reality,” Mr. O’Connor said.
Spending on smart grid infrastructure will exceed $33 billion by 2014, according to NextGen Research.
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