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IBM helps Ausgrid implement first-of-a-kind smart grid technology

Smart grid data management platform to improve efficiency of assets and the delivery of reliable energy to customers

Sydney, Australia - 08 Jul 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the successful implementation of a first of its kind smart grid data management platform, designed and built with Ausgrid to give the utility more data from part of its electricity distribution grid.

This data creates a foundation that will provide better monitoring and asset management capabilities for the local 11,000 Volt distribution network that connects small street-side substations with major zone substations.

The platform involves the integration of intelligent monitoring devices that provide accurate and timely information about asset utilisation and performance on this part of the network. The data is collected centrally to provide a holistic view of parts of the electrical network across the company’s electricity grid.

The solution also has the capability to provide data that identifies faults and outages within the grid when combined with smart substation equipment and technology. Once this technology refresh is complete, consumers will ultimately benefit through Ausgrid’s improved ability to gain enhanced information on outages, which could minimise the extent of disruption to services and instigate quicker response times to repair faults. 

Ausgrid Managing Director George Maltabarow said the platform involved rolling out 12,000 smart monitoring devices in distribution substations across its network and more than 2,300 were already installed.

“This technology will make the local electricity network smarter and more reliable, giving us a more detailed picture of how the network is performing,” Mr Maltabarow said.

“We will have more information than ever before about the demands on the local network, allowing us to better target preventative maintenance to avoid faults and outages in the first place.

“Ultimately, it will mean fewer and shorter outages for the homes and businesses we supply.”

David Jones, IBM’s Smart Grid Program Director, said information generated by smart grid technology will help Ausgrid optimise its planning functions and capital investments into the future.

“Ausgrid will have new and enhanced information to help with its future asset management, and its ability to detect and respond to faults in the network,” he said. “As a result, customers will benefit from faster response times and fewer outages” said Jones.

Capabilities of the platform include:

·         Providing outage information such as blown fuses: The availability of this data enables Ausgrid to be ahead of the curve in identifying and fixing a fault.

·         Enabling an enhanced visual interface containing graphs, historic grid state, views of system diagrams and access to detailed network event analysis information: This helps Ausgrid engineers interpret and respond to information more rapidly through visual cues.

About Ausgrid

Ausgrid is a state-owned energy utility, in which a majority of shares are held by the New South Wales Government. The Ausgrid electricity network is made up of more than 200 large electricity substations, 500,000 power poles, 30,000 small distribution substations and almost 50,000 kilometres of below- and above-ground electricity cables. On 2 March 2011 EnergyAustralia changed its name to Ausgrid, after selling the retail part of its business. TruEnergy, the new owner of the company’s electricity and gas retail business, retained the EnergyAustralia brand. For more information on Ausgrid please visit www.ausgrid.com.au

About IBM

For more information on IBM please visit www.ibm.com.

Contact(s) information

Le Tran
External Relations, IBM Global Business Services A/NZ
+61 406314516
+61 2 9463 5181
letran@au1.ibm.com

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