Richland, Wash., April 6, 2010 – The Department of Energy selected a Pacific Northwest team including Netezza to conduct a regional smart grid demonstration project designed to expand upon existing electric infrastructure and test new smart grid technology with up to 60,000 customers in five states.
The team combines energy providers, utilities, technology partners and research organizations.
The total estimated cost for the project is $178 million. DOE will provide half the funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project’s participants – utilities and industry team members including Netezza – will provide the remaining investments.
The Northwest study will involve more than 60,000 metered customers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Using smart grid technologies, the study will test new combinations of devices, software and advanced analytical tools that enhance the power grid’s reliability and performance.
The Netezza TwinFin appliance will provide the infrastructure for data management, storage and analysis for advanced analytics.
The TwinFin appliance was chosen for its ability to efficiently manage massive data volumes generated by the smart grid meters and sensors, making it more accessible, analyzable and action-ready within minutes of receipt.
The TwinFin appliance enables advanced analytical information including grid health, price fluctuation, energy consumption, risk identification and fraud detection.
The project team will install equipment and technology in 2010 and 2011. Then, for the next two to three years, project leaders will gather and analyze data on smart grid performance from 15 test sites that represent the region’s diverse terrain, weather and demographics.
The test sites range from Fox Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound, to the Teton Mountains in western Wyoming, and include the campuses at the University of Washington and Washington State University.
The project will involve more than 112 MW of power, enough to serve 86,000 households.
It is a system that uses various technologies to improve power delivery and use through intelligent, two-way communication. Generators of electricity, suppliers and users are all part of the equation. With increased communication and information, smart grid technology enables real time monitoring of electric energy use, exchange of data about supply and demand, and adjustments of power use to changing load requirements.