Xcel Energy displays first fully integrated SmartGridCity house


Ray Gogel, Vice
President-Customer &
Enterprise Solutions
& Chief Administrative
Officer, Xcel Energy
Denver, CO, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 28, 2008 – Xcel Energy has unveiled the first fully integrated SmartGridCity™ home in Boulder, at the University of Colorado Chancellor’s Residence. The Residence is fitted with multiple smart grid technologies. One of Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Consortium partners, GridPoint, has installed information technology devices that enhance a customer’s control of electricity usage.   

SmartGridCity is designed to improve grid performance, delivery of electricity to meet customers’ needs, and reliability. It will also give customers real-time information about their energy usage and how to manage the environmental impact of their energy consumption choices. Other Smart Grid Consortium partners include Accenture, Current, OSI Soft, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Ventyx. Each partner is providing expertise to help build the nation’s densest concentration of smart grid technologies to date.

The Chancellor’s Residence was fitted with an energy management system that will allow the family to set up an energy profile to automatically reduce energy consumption according to their preferences, track solar production, and view environmental data about their conservation efforts. For instance, the four thermostats in the Residence are controlled by the online energy management system, which enables the family to easily and automatically change temperature settings based on their preferred schedule. The system will ultimately allow Xcel Energy to respond to energy signals and relieve stress on the system automatically.  

“Initial results have shown great promise that SmartGridCity will be able to provide the benefits that we initially envisioned when commissioning this program,” said Ray Gogel, chief administrative officer and vice president of customer and enterprise solutions. “We plan to deploy and test a number of different technologies during the implementation of the SmartGridCity. We see this as a living laboratory that will give our customers and us a better understanding of the most promising technologies in the energy field today. The applications at the Chancellor’s Residence have already demonstrated that providing people with knowledge is the answer to conserving power.”

Here is a list of what has been installed at the Chancellor’s Residence:
Solar PV Integration – Plug-n-play integration of the home’s six-kilowatt solar panels, installed by Namaste Solar Electric, and monitoring of solar production;
PHEV with Smart Charging – Charging the PHEV through a dedicated outlet in the garage during off-peak periods, regardless of when it is plugged in, enables Xcel Energy to offer reduced rates for off-peak charging;
Online Energy Management – Password-protected Web portal enabling the family to automatically reduce energy consumption by scheduling multiple appliances and devices according to their preferences, track solar production, and view environmental data about their conservation efforts;
Instant Backup Power – Instant, clean backup power through advanced batteries.

Xcel Energy and its technology partners are making significant progress in the installation of SmartGridCity. The first meters are active and two-way communication between the customer and the utility company is a reality. Xcel Energy has installed sensors and high-speed communications on approximately 82 miles of fiber optic cable. By the end of 2008, Xcel Energy will have more than 13,000 homes enabled with smart meters and by mid-2009, another 10,000 meters will be available for installation at the customer’s request.

In addition, two substations in Boulder have been upgraded with smart technology. Now, Xcel Energy can automatically detect and isolate non-catastrophic outages and restore electricity load for downstream customers. This information will allow the company to reduce the impact of outages by using isolation technologies to reduce the duration of the outage event. By mid-2009, two additional substations in Boulder will be upgraded with smart grid-enabled technologies.