On Sept. 15, Glendale Water & Power (GWP) installed its final smart meter on the campus of Glendale Community College in Glendale, California, U.S. This installation marked a historic event for the utility, which was also the first in the nation to sign the Department of Energy's American Reinvestment Recovery Act (ARRA) grant to receive US$20 million for its project.
The final smart meter was installed by a recent Verdugo Power Academy graduate, Stephen Kim, who now works for GWP's meter section. The Verdugo Power Academy, a successful partnership between The Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, Glendale Community College and GWP also has received grant funding from ARRA. The partners developed a curriculum to train unemployed and displaced workers to gain valuable skills to qualify in an entry-level craft position for the electric utility.
“This project involved many employees from the utility, and it was focused on teamwork, partnerships and industry expertise. I would like to congratulate all the employees that worked tirelessly on what was only an idea on paper in 2007 and turned into one of the biggest projects for this utility,” stated Glenn Steiger, general manager of GWP. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished in the first phase of this project, and we are more committed now to really show the benefits of the smart grid.”
A total of 120,000 smart meters have been installed throughout Glendale and are already wirelessly communicating with the utility. GWP's next step is to show the benefits of this technology to its residents. GWP will partner with CEIVA in Burbank, California, to pilot a program that shows customer's usage on a digital frame. Not only can customers upload their personal pictures onto this frame, but mixed in with their private pictures are “channels” that GWP shares that will show customers exactly how much water and power they are using. The interactive frames will assist customers in making smarter choices about their energy and water usage.