As we reported back in June, IBM Australia is part of the winning consortium, which also includes GE Energy Australia; AGL, Sydney Water, Hunter Water and Newcastle City Council. Apparently, under the agreement with EnergyAustralia, IBM will deliver distributed generation, smart metering and demand management solutions.
The project, due to last three years, will be Australia’s first commercial-scale smart grid, covering five sites in Sydney and the Hunter (Newcastle, Scone, Sydney CBD, Ku-ring-gai and Newington). Residents will have access to real-time information on electricity usage, even down to the appliance level, on which to base decisions on energy use and efficiency, as well as helping to minimise their environmental impact.
The project will also test the use of real-time information about grid performance, which can help improve control over the network for Australian energy companies.
IBM is certainly getting stuck in to the ‘smart’ market. Apparently the company is involved in more than 150 smart grid engagements in mature and emerging markets and that’s just part of the company’s Smarter Planet initiative. (See the Smarter Planet ‘game’ I reported on last week - although I have been criticised for not taking it seriously enough. Sorry guys, it is informative and does make you think).
But this is a huge market, so lots of other companies are competing for a slice of the action.