EnergyAustralia to roll out a smart grid


George Maltabarow,
Sydney, Australia — (METERING.COM) — April 2, 2009 – Australia’s largest electricity distribution network, EnergyAustralia, is to roll out a smart grid with the implementation of an energy network monitoring and control solution.

A key project within EnergyAustralia’s intelligent network program, the Distribution Monitoring and Control (DM&C) project will involve the rollout of 12,000 sensing devices throughout the electricity distribution network. The project will enable EnergyAustralia to deliver energy more efficiently and reliably, and allow a greater number and range of environmental solutions to be integrated into the electricity network such as renewable energy.

IBM will design and build the system IT architecture to support the project, in which sensing devices will connect with EnergyAustralia’s operational systems using a combination of fourth generation and existing technologies.
EnergyAustralia’s managing director George Maltabarow said the project was an important part of the company’s initial investment of $170 million in its smart network rollout.
“This project will help us stay at the forefront of the global intelligent network transformation,” said Maltabarow. “It will give us an instant picture of the electricity network, which will help shorten power interruptions by allowing us to quickly locate and repair faults. It will also mean preventative maintenance can be better targeted so we can avoid faults and outages in the first place.”

“IBM is delighted to bring its infrastructure, systems integration and project management expertise to bear on this ground-breaking transformation project,” said David Murray, general manager, IBM Communications Sector, Australia. “Only through the creation of a smart grid that can sense, communicate, analyze and respond, can Australia build the energy infrastructure it needs to meet the challenges of climate change, globalization, and changing consumer demand.”

EnergyAustralia began its intelligent network program in 2006. It was the first utility in the world to build and operate a communications network using carrier grade Internet Protocol (IP) technology. EnergyAustralia has also rolled out 800 km of fiber optic cable to its 200 major substations and depots, installed hundreds of communications switches, and built a trial telecommunications network to allow two-way communication across its electricity network.