Progress Energy has chosen a lead systems integrator for its smart grid program. Together IBM and Progress Energy will transform Progress Energy's networks by improving power efficiency, increasing power quality and reliability, and enhancing capabilities for renewable energy, energy storage systems and plug-in electric vehicles.

Progress Energy is investing approximately $520 million dollars in smart grid technologies through its two utilities that serve approximately 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The total investment includes $200 million from a smart grid grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Progress Energy's smart grid efforts focus on improving the electric distribution network first, then cascading these improvements to the consumer. We believe these efforts position the program as one of the more sophisticated deployments in the marketplace," said Guido Bartels, general manager, Energy & Utilities Industry at IBM and Chairman, Global Smart Grid Federation. "Together with Progress Energy we will improve grid performance across the distribution network to bring greater efficiency, reliability, and security to consumers by applying a truly integrated approach."

Progress Energy's EnergyWise initiatives will use smart grid technology to increase the flexibility and resilience of the electric system. Upgrading the system will also enable a variety of potential customer programs, giving consumers better control over their energy use and spending.

IBM is teaming with Progress Energy by providing services in smart grid technologies and systems integration along with an understanding of large-scale smart grid systems planning and implementations, system architecture, business process design and development and business analytics.

Progress Energy will use IBM's WebSphere software to integrate new distribution management, advanced metering, meter data management, and demand response systems with existing applications including customer and outage management systems.