Smart Grid City

What is this?

SmartGridCity is the nation’s first fully integrated smart grid community and will boast the largest and densest concentration of these emerging technologies to date. The selected city is Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder is the right-sized city for a project such as this, and offers an ideal mix of residential and commercial customers. It’s home to academic and research institutions (including Colorado University, National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology) already working with this emerging technology and studying long-term benefits.

What companies are working for this project?

Xcel Energy and another companies are  working with a group of public and private partners, including the City of Boulder, on this upgrade. Founding partners in our Smart Grid Consortium include Accenture, Current Group, GridPoint, OSI Soft, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Ventyx.

Xcel Energy has announced plans to build out an entire community that combines traditional and cutting-edge technology to modernize our energy grid and provide new, innovative ways to provide you with the best service possible. SmartGridCity is the nation’s first fully integrated smart grid community and will boast the largest and densest concentration of these emerging technologies to date. Boulder, Colorado has been selected as the site of SmartGridCity.

Now, in September 2009 has completed construction of the infrastructure and launched the remaining software to enable all SmartGridCity operational functions. this step makes it the first fully functioning smart grid enabled city in the world that increases reliability, provides customers with greater energy use information, and allows participating customers and Xcel Energy to control in-home energy management devices remotely when demand calls for it. 50,000 homes in Boulder will soon be decked out with the latest in environmentally-friendly, energy-saving technology — including solar panels, electric cars and, for some, a specialized heating, cooling and lighting system — all of which will be integrated into a monitoring system that reports the home’s carbon footprint to the homeowner.

The SmartGridCity project also included automating three of four distribution substations, four computer-monitored power feeders, and another 23 feeders that are watched for voltage irregularities. Approximately 200 miles of fiber optic cable, 4,600 residential and small business transformers and nearly 16,000 smart meters are now connected to the smart grid system.

The SmartGridCity construction phase on the network “backbone” was recently completed. The collaborative effort involved the resources of the Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Consortium, including Accenture, CURRENT Group, GridPoint, OSIsoft, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, SmartSynch and Ventyx.

A grid-state monitoring system, installed by CURRENT Group, is one of the technologies being used to develop information to proactively reduce outages. By analyzing real-time data retrieved from the sensors deployed on the distribution grid, this system significantly minimizes low-voltage issues as well by automatically detecting them and allowing Xcel Energy to proactively address potential problems.

Xcel Energy will soon be seeking customers for testing of in-home energy management devices. The devices will be used to validate and enhance the customer energy management experience and response aspects of the SmartGridCity pilot project.

For graphical ideas click here



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