June 10, 2010 – Oncor, a Texas-based utility that delivers power to more than 3 million homes and businesses, has joined the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition.
This group of utilities works to further the adoption of smarter energy grids around the world and now collectively serves more than 115 million energy consumers globally.
“Oncor is honored to be included in this prestigious group. As technological advances transform the utility industry, we understand the need for collaboration,” said Jim Greer, Oncor’s senior vice president of asset management and engineering. “Smarter energy grids are happening now, reshaping the way we do business. A lot is changing for utilities around the world. Technology is changing the way we manage reliability and provide service – more information and tools are available to our customers. We look forward to working with GIUNC members and sharing information about the great progress we’re making in Texas.”
Tuesday marked the kickoff of the coalition’s semi-annual meeting where member utilities join to undertake collaborative initiatives and benchmark their progress.
The first event of the week gathered external audiences including local, city and federal officials to share trends and techniques on how to accelerate smart grid development.
“Adding intelligent technologies to the power delivery system is one part of a comprehensive, balanced solution to addressing our world’s energy and environmental challenges. This global coalition has accelerated our learning curve on smart grid technologies, and we look forward to this collaboration,” said Bill Johnson, Progress Energy’s chairman, president and CEO. “We’re honored to co-host this meeting with IBM in our company’s headquarters city of Raleigh.”
The coalition’s first collaborative effort was the creation of a Smart Grid Maturity Model, a tool that benchmarks current progress and plans long term smart grid programs. More than 70 utilities have taken the SGMM assessment to date, and since the GIUNC donated the SGMM to Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute last year, it continues to be an effective method of evaluation for utilities around the world.
* Ways to understand the effect on emissions due to smart grid deployment. The group has developed a SGCM that allows utilities to analyze different carbon levers due to various smart grid investments
* Issues related to integrating distributed energy resources. The group recently completed an extensive study on Microgrids and is now shifting its focus to studying grid impact and business strategy related to electric vehicles.
* The wants and needs of the consumer related to smart grid based on learnings from current pilot projects. The group is identifying customer behavior when given certain options, types of technologies that they are likely to adopt and how they perceive service value.
* Methods that evaluate regulatory models. In order for regulators to make more informed decisions, the coalition is also developing a system dynamics model that captures all the business case benefits that smart grid enables including improved reliability, grid efficiency improvements, renewable energy, carbon emissions reduction, electric vehicle adoption rates and customer conservation.
“Oncor just reached a major milestone by installing its one millionth smart meter,” said Guido Bartels, General Manager, IBM Energy and Utilities Industry and GridWise Alliance chairman. “This coalition was designed to bring a diverse set of companies together to learn from one another and this type of experience broadens our knowledge base even further.”