Austin Energy, based in Austin, Texas, started its Smart Grid 1.0 deployment project in January 2003 and completed in October 2009. It is the first fully operational Smart Grid deployment in the U.S. Smart grid 1.0 took Austin Energy $150 million, and by the end of 2009, 500,000 devices (86,000 smart thermostats; 410,000 smart meters from Elster, GE and AMI partner Landis + Gyr; 2,500 sensors; and 3,000 computers, servers and network gear) had been deployed . The meters installed can deliver consumption data every 15 minutes.
Building blocks of the Smart Grid 1.0 include :
- A telecommunications network—combining fiber and wireless.
- Hardware—meters, sensors, network gear, computers, servers, and storage
- Software—applications, databases, and integration and management tools
The company uses Cellnet+Hunt’s UtiliNet mesh network to remotely read, connect and disconnect services to its customers and also uses GE Energy’s smart grid software to integrate the new distribution management system into its existing outage management system [2, 3, 4, 5]. With Cellnet+Hunt’s Radio Frequency (RF) mesh communications network, Austin Energy is able to include time-of-use pricing, distribution automation and load shedding into its service list .
Austin Energy's Smart Grid 2.0 deployment started from Dec. 2008 [1,2]. Smart Grid 2.0 offers improved customer services, including:
- By phone or online real-time meter reads
- Web-based management of smart consumer appliances
- Remote service turn-on and shut-off