Xcel Energy Announces First Smart
Grid City in the Nation
Mar 12, 2008 - Business Wire
Xcel Energy announced today it will
put in motion its vision to make Boulder, Colo.,
the nation's first fully integrated Smart Grid City.
The advanced, smart grid system -
when fully implemented over the next few years -
will provide customers with a portfolio of smart
grid technologies designed to provide environmental,
financial and operational benefits. Xcel Energy
anticipates funding only a portion of the project,
and plans to leverage other sources including government
grants for the remainder of what could be up to
a $100 million effort.
"Smart Grid City is the first step
toward building the grid of the future," said Dick
Kelly, Xcel Energy chairman, president and CEO.
"In Boulder, we'll collaborate with others to integrate
all aspects of our smart grid vision and evaluate
the benefits. The work we're doing will benefit
not only Boulder, but also customers throughout
our eight-state service territory. We're pleased
to partner with the city and our Boulder customers
as we begin this journey."
In December 2007, Xcel Energy established
the Smart Grid Consortium, bringing together leading
technologists, engineering firms, business leaders
and IT experts. Consortium members include Accenture,
Current Group, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
and Ventyx. The group will provide guidance, products
and services needed to bring Xcel Energy's smart
grid vision to life.
In addition to its geographic concentration,
ideal size and access to all grid components, Boulder
was selected as the Smart Grid City because it is
home to the University of Colorado and several federal
institutions, including the National Institute of
Standards and Technology, which already is involved
in smart grid efforts for the federal government.
Smart Grid City could feature a number
of infrastructure upgrades and customer offerings
- for the first time fully integrated through the
partnership's efforts in Boulder - including:
-- Transformation of existing metering
infrastructure to a robust, dynamic electric system
communications network, providing real-time, high-speed,
two-way communication throughout the distribution
-- Conversion of substations to "smart"
substations capable of remote monitoring, near real-time
data and optimized performance;
-- At the customer's invitation, installation
of programmable in-home control devices and the
necessary systems to fully automate home energy
-- Integration of infrastructure
to support easily dispatched distributed generation
technologies (such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
with vehicle-to-grid technology; battery systems;
wind turbines; and solar panels).
The potential benefits of the Smart
Grid City include operational savings, customer-choice
energy management, better grid reliability, greater
energy efficiency and conservation options, increased
use of renewable energy sources, and support for
plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and intelligent-home
With the city now selected, Xcel Energy
and its Smart Grid Consortium will spend the next
four weeks to six weeks studying the city's electricity
infrastructure to develop a scope and preliminary
design plan for implementing the changes. Work would
start soon after, but system changes will take place
over the next few years.
The first phase of Smart Grid City
is expected to be in place by as early as August
2008, with implementation throughout the city continuing
through 2009. Beginning in 2009, the consortium
also expects to begin an initial assessment of the
After initial implementation and assessment,
Xcel Energy will use the results from this effort
to talk with state, federal and regulatory officials
about a larger deployment throughout the company's
eight-state service territory.
Xcel Energy also unveiled a Smart
Grid Consortium web site today, www.xcelenergy.com/smartgrid,
which has graphics and educational materials explaining
its Smart Grid vision.
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major
U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated
operations in eight Western and Midwestern states.Xcel
Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related
products and services to 3.3 million electricity
customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers
through its regulated operating companies. Company
headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information
is available at www.xcelenergy.com.
SOURCE: Xcel Energy