IBM signs smart grid deals in Brazil, Korea

IBM signed deals with utility companies in Brazil and Korea to help them plan for eventual deployments of smart grid technology.

IBM on Wednesday signed deals with utility companies in Brazil and Korea to help them plan for eventual deployments of smart grid technology.

In Brazil, IBM struck a deal with CPFL Energia to develop a strategy to make operations and communications more efficient. The company is consulting on three smart grid projects pertaining to automated data collection for smart meters, data management for meters and communications network optimization.

The projects are part of the utility's strategy to make Brazil's grid more resilient.

"It is a market requirement, especially here in Brazil where power consumption and population are expected to increase over the coming years,” CPFL director Rubens Bruncek Ferreira said in a statement.

The two parties first collaborated in 2010 to create a plan based on an existing model used by IBM's Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, which the utility joined the year prior.

Details include:

  • The installation of 25,000 smart meters by the end of 2012.
  • Software to manage meter functionalities and data.
  • An eventual business model based on end-to-end service management with real-time monitoring of all devices across the entire network.
  • The development of architecture for a new communication network (voice, e-mail, video, apps, etc.)
  • The development of a roadmap to transition from a traditional grid to an intelligent one.

The utility hopes to see improved reliability, faster maintenance and detection, and improved customer service, since each customer will gain a load profile. Plus, better and more granular control over its network.

Meanwhile in Korea, IBM is partnering with Korea Electric Power Company to construct a "Total Operations Center" at its elaborately named Jeju Smart Grid Test-Bed Demonstration Complex.

One hundred and sixty companies use the complex to monitor smart grid systems around the world; it's the world’s largest group established specifically for smart grid research and testing.

IBM's role is to help KEPCO create guidelines based on international standards, as well as provide services and software to develop an energy management system for the center.

Among the offerings is IBM's Rational Software Architect, which will be used to implement a system that can incorporate existing applications, data services and hardware from the various members of the group.

Both announcements were made in advance of a GIUNC meeting.

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