National Grid has assembled a team of companies from across the US to help it conduct its $44 million smart grid pilot with 15,000 of its electricity customers in Worcester, Mass.
National Grid delivers electricity to more than 3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
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 and recently completed installation of about 5,000 smart meters to test system communications and allow for equipment adjustments before full pilot launch in early in 2014.
The pilot calls for installation of technology on the electric system in addition to meters. The company will be testing automated system reconfiguration and remote power outage sensors that enable crews to be dispatched directly to the source of a problem. The company also will be studying full integration of renewable resources, installing electric vehicle charging stations and connecting energy storage to existing renewable projects.
The team of vendors selected by the company includes expertise in smart meters, advanced communications technologies, in-home energy management tools, devices for electric system automation, as well as customer outreach and education, project management, integration and evaluation.
Participating customers can choose their level of involvement and receive information about their energy use from various sources such as cell phone and smart phone apps. New dynamic pricing options will be available for participating customers. Also, some participating customers will be able to remotely control some of their home appliances and take advantage of demand response programs.
Here’s the list of participating companies for National Grid’s smart grid pilot:
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 Wimax communication technology for communication among devices on the electricity distribution system
Verizon Enterprise Solutions – advanced IP and wireless communications services
IBM — will be implementing legacy system integration
Wipro — web development services
GridMaven – end-to-end communications network monitoring and management solutions
Navigant — evaluation services to monitor and measure the success of the pilot
SmartMark Communications — customer educational communications to enhance customer participation