Xcel Energy – A public Service company of Colorado is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, 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 included 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 expected an expenditure of about $100 million to install 100,000 electric smart meters in the city of Boulder, CO, which was called the ‘Smart grid city’ derived from the project’s name [2, 3].
The Xcel Energy's Smart Grid implementation involved 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)
As part of SmartGridCity, Xcel Energy had successfully installed approximately 23,000 automated smart electric meters in Boulder as part of a new era in electricity grid management .