The post I wrote about energy demand management (EDM) last week certainly stimulated some discussion and got people thinking – always good.
It appears it was a timely post too as I came across two announcements which seem to indicate that the big utilities are looking very seriously at smart grids and EDM.
The first news came out of SAP’s recently formed AMI Lighthouse Council when they announced the integration of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) with Enterprise technology.
The AMI lighthouse consists of SAP, CenterPoint Energy, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Consumers Energy, Energy East, Florida Power & Light, Oklahoma Gas & Electric and Public Service Electric & Gas as well as several strategic vendors like eMeter, Itron and OSIsoft.
AMI short for Advanced Metering Infrastructure refers to systems that measure, collect and analyse energy usage, from smart electricity meters on request or on a pre-defined schedule.
This infrastructure includes hardware, software, communications, customer associated systems and meter data management software.
The network between the measurement devices and business systems allows collection and distribution of information to customers, suppliers, utility companies and service providers. This enables these businesses to either participate in, or provide, demand response solutions, products and services.
The idea is that the AMI Lighthouse Council are working towards the integration of SAP® solutions with AMI solutions for business processes, including customer relationship and billing and enterprise asset management. All vital to making EDM a reality.
The second announcement which caught my eye is that IBM is working with Country Energy (a utility co. which owns and operates Australia’s largest energy supply network) to develop a smart grid in Australia. From the announcement:
Country Energy is pursuing the Intelligent Network concept to improve reliability, support the growth of renewables like solar and wind, and make energy efficiency simpler for customers.
When you see tech companies like SAP, and IBM betting heavily on the smart grid concept and utilities like Country Energy, CenterPoint Energy and CLP Power Hong Kong Limited coming on board to make it happen you know that smart grids are coming.
This next generation of smart grids will be able to absorb far more energy from unpredictable (destabilising) renewable energy sources without compromising grid stability which is in all our best interests.