'Immediate start' for smart grid trial

Summary:IBM and Energy Australia have announced an immediate start to the $100 million Smart Grid, Smart City project, following a consortium agreement reached today

IBM and Energy Australia have announced an immediate start to the $100 million Smart Grid, Smart City project, following a consortium agreement reached today.

The project will see the roll-out of 50,000 smart meters across five sites in Sydney and the Hunter region, and will give 2000 households the ability to switch appliances on and off via a web portal or by using an iPhone.

The trial will also have an emphasis on green households, with some homes being kitted out with solar panels and feeding power back into the grid as well as storing power in battery devices.

Energy Australia will install 12,000 smart sensors across its network, giving it the ability to monitor the network in real time and respond to issues faster.

The network will also have a wireless backbone, powered by the 4G spectrum.

Managing director of IBM Australia, Glen Boreham, said today that the company is extremely proud to be involved in the project.

"The Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration is a critical step in developing the necessary infrastructure required to meet the energy demands of Australian citizens into the future," he added.

Energy Australia's managing director, George Maltabarow, said that electricity networks are on the cusp of a huge transformation.

"Building a commercial scale demonstration will be a national and international showcase of what is possible in the future — for both electricity networks and households."

The project is due for completion in 2013.

Topics: Government, Emerging Tech, Government : AU, IBM

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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