National Grid assembles ‘best and brightest’ for smart grid pilot


Cheri Warren,
VP Asset Management,
National Grid
Waltham, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 14, 2013 – National Grid has assembled a team what it calls the “best and brightest” technology and business solutions companies from across the U.S. to help deliver its smart grid pilot.

The project, which will take place in the city of Worcester, MA, is designed to provide more than 15,000 customers a new level of choice and control over their energy use through advanced technology. The goals are to empower them to save energy, increase electric service reliability and improve response to power outages.

The participating companies are:

  • BRIDGE Energy Group, Ernst & Young – project management and integration services
  • Itron– advanced metering infrastructure and meter data management, home area networking and advanced communication technology
  • Cisco – advanced communication technology and network management
  • General Electric –high speed network using Wimaxfor communication among devices on the electricity distribution system
  • Verizon Enterprise Solutions –advanced IP and wireless communications services
  • IBM –legacy system integration
  • Wipro– web development services
  • CEIVA Energy, EcoFactor, Simple Energy,Itron– in-home technology solutions
  • GridMaven–end-to-end communications network monitoring and management solutions
  • Navigant –evaluation services to monitor and measure the success of the pilot
  • SmartMark Communications, LLC–customer educational communications
  • S&C Electric Company, G&W Electric Company, Beckwith Electric Co Inc.– advanced distribution automation
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Lindsey Manufacturing Company, Power Delivery Products–advanced capacitor control and monitoring for the electric system.

“This assembly of organizations is our smart grid ‘dream team’,” said Cheri Warren, vice president, Asset Management for National Grid. “They are the best and brightest in their respective disciplines and share our vision for delivering exceptional benefits for customers.”

The pilot calls for installation of advanced metering systems that provide the very latest in technology and security. Installation of the latest technology on the electric system to improve reliability and system responsiveness also is part of the pilot. This includes testing automated system reconfiguration and remote power outage sensors that enable crews to be dispatched directly to the source of the problem and restore power more quickly. The company also will be studying full integration of renewable resources, installing electric vehicle charging stations and connecting energy storage to existing renewable projects.

As part of the pilot, National Grid will continue to focus on proactive customer and community engagement that allows for customer interaction and education. Participating customers will be able choose their level of involvement and, according to what options they select, can receive information about their energy use from various sources such as on-line applications, including cell phone and smart phone apps. New dynamic pricing options will be available to help customers save energy and money at different times of day. Additionally, some participating customers will be able to remotely and automatically control some of their home appliances and take advantage of demand response programs which will help increase their opportunity for savings.

National Grid’s pilot was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in August 2012. Since then, the company has been communicating with customers about the program and recently completed early installation of approximately 5,000 advanced meters to help test system communications and allow for equipment adjustments before full pilot launch, which is planned for early in 2014.