Austin Energy embarks on smart grid deployment


Bob Gilligan,
Vice President of
Transmission and
GE Energy
Austin, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 25, 2008 – Texas utility Austin Energy is embarking on the first phase of its smart grid deployment, which is also one of the first in the nation. This phase-one deployment will help Austin Energy to better manage its assets, including improving the ability to prevent outages and quickly restoring power if outages do occur.

To enhance power reliability and improve asset management, Austin Energy has most recently integrated GE Energy’s distribution management system technology into its existing outage management system. These applications will work in combination with the geospatial information system to help notify the utility when a portion of the grid goes down (or is in danger of doing so), thus maximizing power reliability.
The solutions will help enhance power reliability and increase energy productivity. They also will help manage alternative renewable power sources, like solar, maximize the utilization and life of assets and pinpoint areas of concern on the grid.

"Unlike many utilities that lead their smart grid initiatives with smart meters, Austin Energy is leading with innovative software solutions that make products, like smart meters, even more impactful," said Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE Energy’s transmission and distribution business. "While the smart meter is one of the most tangible smart grid components, the capabilities of the smart meter are enhanced greatly by the addition of other smart grid technologies."

Austin Energy is the ninth largest public power utility in the United States, serving 388,000 customers and a population of more than 900,000 within the city of Austin, Travis County and a small portion of Williamson County.