Glendale, California signs contract for federal smart grid grant

Glendale, Calif., March 4, 2010 — Glendale Water and Power signed a contract for a $20 million federal Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, becoming the first city in the nation to receive smart grid funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The grant will help GWP fund implementation of $51 million for the city of Glendale AMI-Smart Grid Initiative. The first significant milestone will be a demonstration project to prove the smart meters portion of the project this spring.

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The demonstration project will include the installation of a meter data management system, 1,000 electric meters, 500 water meters and 300 in-home displays, with plans to have all meters replaced by September 2011.

The new smart meters will allow for two-way communication between customers and the utility, and for the first time will provide customers with real-time electricity usage data to help them save on their bills.

In addition to replacing all electric and water meters with new smart meters, receipt of the $20 million in DOE grant funds will allow GWP to expand the project scope and accelerate implementation to include the following additional smart grid activities:

Distribution automation 

New enterprise data storage system 

Residential and small business smart grid devices 

Thermal energy storage

Demand response

Expanded Wi-Fi backhaul

Receipt of the DOE grant comes with a number of obligations and significant level of transparency to ensure the public’s money is properly managed, produces results, and the public is fully aware every step of the way. Over the next 90 days, GWP will be working with the DOE to provide a detailed Cyber Security Plan, Project Execution Plan, Metric and Benefits Plan, and Consumer Behavior Plan.

Once the plans have been approved, GWP will be required to produce and make public a series of quarterly and semi-annual reports to local government and the DOE on its progress in implementing these plans.

The benefits of Glendale’s “shovel-ready” AMI-Smart Grid Initiative includes reduced carbon emissions, improved system reliability, enhanced security, theft and tampering deterrence and detection, and support for electric vehicles and smart appliances. The project will result in the local hiring of about 40 meter installers by the installation contractor and the projection of about 600 jobs nationwide.

The AMI-Smart Grid Initiative is also an important contributor to GWP’s goal of holding down rates while conserving water and energy.

The project will feature Itron, Inc.’s OpenWay smart grid technology for GWP’s 84,500 electric customers and Itron’s Water SaveSource for 33,400 water customers, plus the wide area network to facilitate communications between GWP and the individual meters. In addition, it will include leak-detecting sensors, also from Itron, that will be used to continuously monitor GWP’s entire water system. Utility Partners of America (UPA), one of the nation’s largest utility service contractors, will handle the installations.

The DOE announced last June the solicitation of applications for $3.4 billion in grants to support efforts to modernize the electric grid as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In October, the DOE selected GWP’s application for award negotiations.


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