National Grid, a supplier of electricity to some 3.4 million customers in the Northeast, has entered the next phase of its smart grid project, completing installation of Itron’s OpenWay smart grid platform for its Smart Energy Solutions Program in Worcester, Mass.
The platform, which features an advanced IPv6 network powered by Cisco, enables National Grid to increase electric service reliability, improve response to power outages and empower customers to save energy. National Grid uses Itron Services to manage and maintain the network.
In this new phase of the smart grid project, National Grid is using Itron’s smart grid solution to enable consumer engagement programs that give the utility’s customers better insights into their energy use and costs.
The nearly 15,000 participating customers in Worcester can learn how much energy they are using throughout the day, allowing them better information to make smarter choices about ways in which they can save energy.
Later this year, National Grid also will offer customers time-based pricing plans to help customers achieve even more energy savings.
National Grid is using Itron’s smart grid solution to provide two-way communication at the customer meter to deliver detailed energy consumption information at regular intervals. This will enable outage identification and demand response capabilities that will reduce customer energy costs and minimize the impact of power interruptions.
In addition, the technology will identify which customers are affected during storms or emergency conditions, thereby improving restoration times. As a part of the program, National Grid also will test full integration of renewable resources and electric vehicle charging stations across the city.
“Our customers depend on us to deliver electricity safely and reliably, which is why National Grid is working with Itron to build a smarter, more resilient electric network,” said William F. Jones, Smart Energy Solutions Program director for National Grid. “Itron is working shoulder to shoulder with us as we modernized our system in Worcester. Under our Smart Energy Solutions Program, we look forward to providing our customers with improved reliability and a new level of choice and control over their energy use.”