Xcel Energy has selected the GridPoint SmartGrid Platform for its SmartGridCity in Boulder, Colorado. The platform applies information technology to the electric grid to provide utilities with an intelligent network of distributed energy resources that controls load, stores energy and produces power.
Xcel Energy’s advanced, smart grid system – estimated to be a $100 million effort when fully implemented over the next few years – will provide customers with a portfolio of smart grid technologies designed to provide environmental, financial and operational benefits. Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Consortium, bringing together leading technologists, engineering firms, business leaders and IT experts, will provide guidance, products and services needed to bring Xcel Energy's smart grid vision to life. Consortium members include Accenture, Current Group, GridPoint, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Ventyx.
“GridPoint provides an intelligent platform to aggregate and control a variety of energy resources in the home or business,” said Michael Carlson, CIO of Xcel Energy. “We’ll be able to test and confirm capabilities to meet the individual needs of our customers while also deploying new capabilities for balancing supply and demand in a clean and efficient manner.”
The platform’s modular, scaleable and upgradeable architecture enables Xcel Energy to deploy proven technologies (e.g. load control devices and advanced batteries) while creating a practical path for integrating new technologies (e.g. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cells). Xcel Energy will be evaluating a variety of technology and system capabilities from GridPoint in conjunction with its SmartGridCity in Boulder, including, but not limited to:
- Advanced Demand Management – Measuring, controlling and verifying select loads (e.g. electric water heaters, pool pumps, home appliances) as well as adjusting thermostats within a few degrees
- Supply Management – Providing capacity and energy by discharging power to the electric grid from advanced batteries (including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or distributed solar systems during peak periods as well as recharging batteries from solar systems or the electric grid during off peak times
- Solar PV Integration – “Plug-n-play” integration and operation of residential and light commercial solar energy systems, paving the way for the commercial success of renewable energy
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) Smart Charging – Charging PHEVs during off-peak periods, regardless of when consumers plug in PHEVs, which enables Xcel Energy to offer consumers significantly reduced rates for off-peak charging
- Single Interface for Control – GridPoint Control Console, a single Web-based interface located in the utility control room, provides Xcel Energy with the ability to easily control distributed energy resources, thereby providing the equivalent performance of central station generation. The console also provides an interface to Xcel Energy’s enterprise systems including CIS, rates, billing, OMS, etc.
- Online Energy Management – GridPoint Customer Portal, a password protected Web portal, enables Xcel Energy’s customers to reduce energy consumption according to their individual preferences. The portal also provides easy to understand environmental data based on an individual customer’s conservation efforts
- Instant Backup Power – Providing customers with instant backup power through advanced batteries
- Performance Monitoring and Customer Support – GridPoint Operations Center, the intelligent hub of the platform, provides remote performance monitoring of distributed energy resources and alerts GridPoint customer services representatives to preemptively address maintenance needs