Xcel Energy – A public Service company of Colorado is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. It started its implementation of Smart metering and Smart Grid projects for the city of Boulder, CO in 2008 [1, 2, 3, 4]. Xcel Energy established the Smart Grid Consortium, which includes Accenture, Current Group, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Ventyx, to work in partnership to provide products and services throughout the project lifespan [2, 3]. The project cost is about $100 million to install 100,000 electric smart meters in the city of Boulder, CO, which is now called the ‘Smart grid city’ derived from the project’s name [2, 3]. The utility is now able to read customer’s meters remotely and reduce power outages as well as quickly identify false power outage calls [2, 5].
The Xcel Energy's Smart Grid implementation involves a three-phased approach :
(I) Quick-hit projects -- This is to quickly demonstrate smart grid concepts within each component of Xcel Energy's utility value chain. This includes, for example, smart substation, smart distribution assets, smart outage management, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and consumer web portal.
(II) Smart Grid City (2008-2010) -- This is a 100% deployment of all of elements from the quick-hit projects in one location, including all premises and the monitoring and control of all resources on the grid. The technology deployed consists of two-way high-speed communications served as the backbone of the entire smart grid system, smart meters that collect home electricity usage data in 15-min increments; MyAccount website and in-home smart devices.
(III) Xcel-wide deployment of proven technologies (dependent on the learnings from the first two phases)