Victoria bids to give Frankston futuristic power


Peter Batchelor,
Victoria’s Energy
& Resources Minister
Melbourne, Australia — (METERING.COM) — February 2, 2010 – The state of Victoria has put in a bid to host Australia’s first smart grid trial, and if awarded the bid, will rollout the project in Frankston, a small city south of Melbourne.

Energy and resources minister Peter Batchelor said in a statement that the state government had thrown its support behind Victoria’s bid to take part in the federal government’s National Energy Efficiency Initiative.

“A clean environment is crucial to our future and that’s why the state government strongly supports Victoria’s Smart Grid, Smart City bid, which will involve implementing new technologies to help a community cut its power use and reduce its carbon pollution,” Batchelor said.

Victoria’s Smart Grid, Smart City bid is being led by power companies United Energy and Jemena, energy retailer AGL and consulting and technology services company Accenture, with support from Frankston City Council, several universities and consumer advocacy groups.

If successful, the Smart Grid, Smart City program will provide more than 10,000 Frankston residents the opportunity to take part in trials reshaping the way power is used and delivered at home, work and school – as well as the way power is delivered to the community. Initiatives that will be rolled out include electric cars, solar powered neighbourhoods, and home appliances controlled via mobile phone.

Batchelor described Victoria’s bid as a well researched and proactive plan, building on the state’s culture for innovation, proven experience in advanced metering and energy efficiency, and government’s commitment to boost renewable energy.

“We already have significant momentum rolling out smart meters in Victoria – and we are the only Australian state to have started deploying advanced metering technology to every household, in partnership with Victoria’s energy distributors,” he added.

Bidding for the project opened in November 2009 and the winning consortium, which can expect to receive up to Au$100 million (US$89 million), will be announced in April (see Bidding opened for Australia’s Smart Grid, Smart City initiative). Pending contract negotiations, delivery of the project will commence in July 2010 and continue until June 2013.