IBM has won a deal with Western Australian energy provider Western Power as a systems integration and project management partner for a smart meter pilot.
In the $500,000 contract, signed in October, IBM will design a network which will link up
smart meters and existing Western Power systems.
IBM is going to be "augmenting" Western Power's internal IT team
which will carry out the hands on integration work, according to
Western Power's smart grid manager Lisa Cunningham. The
installation of 10,500 meters involved in the four-year pilot
will be carried out by another third party.
The tender for the smart meter installation has already been released.
Cunningham said that a decision would be made in January. IBM has
already started to work on identifying system requirements, nutting out
network architecture and developing implementation plans. Installation
is scheduled to begin in early 2010.
The pilot is part of Perth's $73.5 million Solar City project.
Under the program, Perth inhabitants will receive free energy
advisory services and price reductions on solar hot water and
photovoltaic systems in the hopes that consumers will rethink the
way they use energy.
The meters would provide real-time information on energy
consumption, remove the need for manual meter readings and the need
to log fault calls, according to Western Power. Connecting and
disconnecting services will also be able to be carried out more
"Having a smart meter installed will enable customers to view
consumption rates and costs of appliances. The smart meter also
automatically alerts Western Power to power interruptions and
enables rapid outage management," Cunningham said in a
IBM is also working on smart grids with other utilities such as
Energy Australia and