September 16, 2009 By News Report
Boulder Colorado's $100 million SmartGridCity project, which launched in May of 2008 and was the subject of an ABC news story last year, is completed, according to Xcel Energy, the company responsible for developing the system. With the smart grid system, meters and sensors send information via broadband over powerline to an operations center. Functions for customers include the ability to monitor energy usage, select when to use high-energy devices such as clothes dryers, and keep track of how much carbon the household is putting into the environment. Customers will soon be able to access a Web portal to monitor and control home energy management devices. SmartGridCity functions also include switching power through fully-automated substations; re-routing power around bottlenecked lines; detecting power outages and proactively identifying outage risks. The deployment integrated more than 20 applications, 95 new interfaces and more than 300 test cases according to a company release. Xcel Energy says it can now read customer meters remotely and have reduced power outages and false alarms. According to the company, the new smart grid warned about transformers that were ready to fail and they were replaced without loss of service.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.