IBM founds coalition for ’smart’ power grids

IBM has reported the formation of partnership to digitalize electric grids with Houston-based utility CenterPoint Energy. This formation was done in association with Big Blue where CenterPoint will upgrade the present power distribution grid with new digital communication. According to the sources of The Intelligent Utility Network Coalition will carry out tests to examine the technology that serves utility consumers in a better way using the information and making the power distribution grid more trust worthy. The President of CenterPoint Houston Electric Operations, Georgianna Nichols has quoted that initially CenterPoint is planning to infuse around $750 millions in next five years to incline its new version of gears that include meters, switches and other equipment at its power stations.

CenterPoint Energy Utility is installing a broadband-over-powerline also known as BPL and network through the Texas region to collect and convey the information like real-time usage, overloaded distribution points. Executives of CenterPoint and IBM have reported that by the change in consumption patterns or styles consumers can economically save amounts using the comprehensive methods on usage of power. The demand of power can be regulated by the digital equipment and the software that makes the energy sellers to give more services like time-of-use pricing. The Utility is in discussion with the governing authorities on the potential price variation.

Nichols has quoted that a year back the coalition were affirmative about automated meter reading utility and this happens to be a point of discussion for revolutionizing the electric utility industry. Currently the equipment is in testing phase. CenterPoint, an electricity distributor which happens to be the founding member of the Intelligent Utility Network Coalition has 2million customers. . Executives of CenterPoint and IBM have reported that later this year other Utilities from U.S. and other European and Asian countries are expected to join. Nichols has quoted that the cost that would be incurring on the total up gradation to the digital equipment is about $2.50 per customer per month.

The coalition of IBM and Intelligent Utility Network Coalition will concurrently work on the issues where IBM plans to give the required software for getting the data and analytical tools for measuring usage patterns and also IBM plans to provide companies that join the coalition with access to its portal and to other collaboration tools and Intelligent Utility Network Coalition will focus on positioning and testing the electrical equipment and takes the initiative to assist the ’smart’ grids. The Network Coalition will test out technologies that will give utilities serving consumers in a better usage information and make power distribution grids more reliable.