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Austin Energy Smart Grid 1.0 and 2.0
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Lead Organization:
Austin Energy
HQ Location:
Austin, Texas
Project Contact Information:

721 Barton Springs Road
Austin, TX 78704-1145

Project Summary:

Austin Energy, based in Austin, Texas, started its Smart Grid 1.0 deployment project in January 2003 and completed in October 2009. It had been 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 [1]. The meters installed can deliver consumption data every 15 minutes.

Building blocks of the Smart Grid 1.0 included [2]:
- 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 used 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 [6].

Austin Energy's Smart Grid 2.0 deployment started from Dec. 2008 [1,2]. Smart Grid 2.0 was expected to provide 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

More than 90 megawatts of load-shedding capacity via 86,000 remotely controllable smart thermostats has been planned for smart grid 2.0 [7]. Austin Energy partnered in the Pecan Street Project to help plan its smart grid 2.0 . The Pecan Street Project, in the Mueller district, had been testing various solutions in a thousand homes and 75 businesses in collaboration with the cream of the high-tech industry, including GE Energy, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and General Motors. When the solutions have been integrated, Austin's smart grid would be interactive and "self healing" [8].


[1] Electric Energy Online. URL: http://www.electricenergyonline.com/?page=show_article&mag=60&article=451
[2] Austin Energy Smart grid. URL: http://austinenergy.com/wps/portal/ae/about/environment/smart-grid/!ut/p/a1/jZJNT-MwEIZ_C4f41sZJCw0rWci4bdrtQimipeSych3XcdTYwXYSwa_fpBxgV4XFkj9m_LxjzXj8xN_6iaK1FNRJreihs5OL3zCMwhmB4TwehRHEMblenG9ugzsIW-DpI7CcLMdwvllu8HJBYEwG39R_MjD8n_7nNx4IzQ25EX5SUpf1pNprf2sLalxPGJl2AFa7QdQChu-54aZfmTbzzLnyhwc92DRNX2gtDrzPdOHB9vbKUuSAYQ7l4BkBbg1DFlhdGcZRw3eApSgANU8RJNdwNc0xBq0MdTG9YIC9IJx2k1bWScUVN-LlGLz1NaXttlIbRw9HiB_Xna5cd-Cqlkargquj-Z4J4BKl91u7HhZP48vFSK8eJhd6PBwLUFmB8HSVk9vJaP_C0ugQNKwe5NldTokTvXpGnlkDrBQhis9H-xlz5UPMs3qmS6yIO1WkTNvW_3dx_Ec_-epDVnD4L3CiY96Az1uiLNbb11_8MXKXc4nPzv4AK3w-FQ!!/dl5/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/
[3] Wired.com, December 2008. URL: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2008/12/the-austin-smar/
[4] Renewable Energy World News, September 2008. URL: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2008/09/austin-ener...
[5] TD World, April 2008. URL: http://tdworld.com/customer_service/much_more_smart_meter/
[6] Metering.com, February 2008. URL: http://www.metering.com/node/11796
[7] Zack Pollock, "Top Ten Utility Smart Grid Deployments in North America", Greentech Media, May 2012. URL: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/top-ten-utility-deployments-...
[8] "Austin: Smart grid, smart meter pioneer", WWF Global. URL: http://wwf.panda.org/?204660/Austin