Smart grid journey at Austin Energy Texas USA

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Background and objectives, Austin Energy is the United States ninth largest community owned electric utility The. company serves about 410 000 customers and a population of 1 000 000 in an area. encompassing 650 square kilometres As a publicly owned power company and a city. department Austin Energy returns profits to the community annually Austin Energy. powers the capital city of Texas through a diverse generation mix including nuclear coal. natural gas and renewable energy for a total of 2 600 MW Austin Energy s base electric. rates have not increased since 1994 and are the lowest rates among major Texas cities. and among the lowest across the US The company aims to continuously improve its. customer satisfaction By 2020 Austin Energy plans to obtain 700 MW of energy. efficiency and a share of 30 of renewable energy in its generation portfolio of which. 100 MW coming from solar, In 2003 Austin Energy undertook a wide project to revolutionise its enterprise ICT. architecture and prepare the company for the construction of a modern energy system. customer driven integrated interactive optimised distributed secure and self healing 1. The project completed in August 2009 is known as Austin Energy Smart Grid 1 0 It was. focused on installing about 5 000 digital devices and related ICT solutions going from the. central power plant through the transmission and distribution systems and all the way to. the meter and back Even before it wrapped up Austin Texas had started preparing. phase two by launching the Pecan Street Project to develop a citywide smart grid. The Pecan Street project and consequently Austin Energy Smart Grid 2 0 focuses on. the grid beyond the meter and into the premise e g home office store mall and. buildings with integration back to the utility grid The project is about managing and. leveraging distributed generation e g solar micro wind storage electric vehicles and. smart appliances on the customer side of the meter The Pecan Street Project is being. driven by former Austin Mayor Brewster McCracken and includes the City of Austin. Austin Energy the University of Texas Austin Technology Incubator the Greater Austin. Chamber of Commerce and the Environmental Defence Fund This last participant is the. group leader and has organised resources into twelve teams with 150 people total that. are delivering recommendations for an Austin specific smart grid system Together they. are defining what smart grid 2 0 should look like not just for Austin Energy but also for. industry at large The results of these working groups will be the basis for Austin Texas. upcoming action plan, The project has also already garnered eleven corporate partnerships including Applied. Materials Dell GE Energy IBM Intel Oracle Cisco Systems Microsoft Freescale. Semiconductor and GridPoint The corporate partners are assisting the project team by. providing for free staff resources and strategic guidance within their areas of expertise. Partners are also helping the project team identify technologies that can be pilot tested. on the local electrical grid once the initial phase of the project is completed. Smart Grid 1 0 took Austin Energy six years to deploy and cost about 150 million of. which 10 million coming from the Department of Energy The estimated investment for. the new project is about 240 million and Austin Energy has submitted 2 applications to. the US Department of Energy to obtain matching funds for around 110 million. A self healing network uses real time information from embedded sensors and automated. controls to anticipate detect and respond to system problems automatically avoiding or. mitigatigatig power outages power quality problems and service disruptions For more. information on smart grid concept see section 3 4 3. e Business activities, Starting in 2003 Austin Energy undertook a complete modernisation project of all its IT. applications migrating all of its software to become Java based As part of Smart Grid. 1 0 Austin Energy began a long process of deploying a series of new technologies and. applications including the rollout of smart meters to its entire household and business. clients completed in August 2009, The activities were led by the redesign of ICT enterprise architecture and a major step.
was the deployment of smart meters and the related automated metering infrastructure. with a two way communication network In total the project covered the installation of. about 500 000 devices including 410 000 meters 86 000 thermostats 2 500 sensors. 1 700 computers and 1 000 network elements, The deployment of a new meter data management system started in December 2008. This feeds into the outage management system customer information system. distribution planning system energy efficiency management system and asset. management system All this is accompanied by the rollout of a distribution management. system DMS and integrates all the elements into a supervisory data acquisition and. control system SCADA and energy management system Lastly the rollout of the new. billing system enabling demand response programmes and new billing rates e g Time. of Usage TOU net metering prepayment started in May 2009 and will be completed. The applications areas depicted in yellow in Exhibit 5 7 are those affected by Smart Grid. 1 0 and the ones that are expected to be affected by the 2 0 project. Exhibit 5 1 Austin Energy Systems affected by Smart Grid projects. Distribution Management System, Energy Hedging Sys Customer Portals Web Services IHDs. Outage Management System,Wholesale Scheduling,and Settlement Sys EMS SCADA Call Center. Generation Management Sys Load Planning Sys Distribution Automation CRM CIS Billing. Distributed Control Sys Conservation System Demand Response Sys. Vegetation Mgmt System,Emissions Mgmt Sys Marketing Program Sys. Lab Mgmt Sys Meters MDMS, GIS Materials Mgmt Asset Mgmt Facilities Mgmt Smart Appliances.
CAD CAE Applications and Modeling Tools Sub Metering Sys. Workforce and Workflow Management Smart Charging Sys. Portfolio Management Project Management DG Mgmt Sys. PDAs Smartphones PCs Servers IT Management Systems Email MS Office App Servers Storage Mgmt Sys. Voice and Data Network s Field Force and AMI Networks LAN PAN HAN. Source Austin Energy June 2009, The new Austin Energy IT infrastructure is being designed to accommodate exponentially. larger quantities of data Currently Austin Energy needs to handle 20 Terabytes of data. per year When meter readings will be carried out every 15 minutes for the entire network. this figure will reach 100 Terabytes while when the readings will be carried out every 5. minutes the data will reach a capacity of 400 Terabytes This represents a serious. challenge to be addressed also from a storage perspective The challenge will be even. more complex with the rollout of additional intelligent devices into the customer premises. as planned by the Pecan project and Smart Grid 2 0 refer to Exhibit 5 8. Exhibit 5 2 Austin Energy vision of the Smart Premise Home. Source Austin Energy June 2009, As part of its efforts in going into the customers premises the Pecan Street Project will. start by leveraging a newly built area the Mueller development This is a 3 000 squared. meters development in which every new building is green built either certified through. LEED or Austin Energy s nationally recognised Green Building programme In. partnership with Mueller residents and stakeholders Austin Energy will test smart grid 2 0. by creating a microgrid initially linking 1 000 residential meters 75 commercial meters. and plug in electric vehicle charging sites during the five year project period The. development will integrate smart meters energy control gateways advanced billing. software and smart thermostats The project team will use this technology platform to. demonstrate grid integration of distributed clean energy generation smart water systems. distributed storage smart appliances and plug in electric vehicles The project will also. compare different delivery and business models including dynamic pricing demand. response decoupled pricing linked with net metering and rooftop solar leasing The. project will also test different storage technologies including potentially thermal storage. battery technologies e g lithium ion lithium iron magnesium phosphate metal air and. lead acid and possibly ultracapacitor and fuel cell systems. The project will collect data and analyse these results against control groups and. distribution feeder systems in other locations in the City of Austin to quantify how the. integration of these technologies impacts customer electric bills and usage utility. finances environmental outcomes and electric system performance. The goal of the demonstration project will be to transform how energy is generated. delivered and managed so that customers on that part of the system would be carbon. neutral and to do this in a way that creates green collar jobs efficiently and cost. effectively expands use of clean energy and provides consumers with greater control. over their electric bill and environmental impact while saving them money on their electric. Austin Energy s objectives of energy efficiency as well as of further development of green. energy will not be achieved without the creation of the smart grid described in the. previous sections, Even if an ROI analysis of already completed projects is not publicly available it is worth. to mention that all the activities were carried out with no impact on customers rates. which have not risen for the last 15 years, Overall it is still too early to quantify benefits sought after by such a broad. implementation Major results are expected in terms of reduced need for construction of. additional generation and transmission capacity reduction of operating costs service. improvement realisation of demand response programmes building automation A more. comprehensive list of expected results benefiting both customers and the utility are. summarised in Exhibit 5 9, Exhibit 5 3 Expected benefits of Austin Energy Smart Grid 2 0 Project.
Benefits for Austin Energy Benefits for customers, Reduced need for additional generation and Faster notification and restoration times. transmission capacity from outages, Reduced operating costs Better understanding and management of. bills through usage information via a Web,Improved outage management ability to. quickly determine if power is off or on,Ability to participate in energy efficiency and. Reduced number of delayed and estimated,demand response programmes.
Reduced inconvenience by no longer,Reduced energy theft. needing to unlock gates and tie up dogs for,Improved load profiler meter reads. Improved distribution load management and Improvements in timeliness and accuracy of. planning billing with fewer estimated bills, Greater historical load and usage data Remote service turn on and shut off e g of. available for better load forecasting air conditioning. Better asset management and maintenance Access to real time meter reads through a. effectiveness and cost reduction call to customer service or via data on a. home energy display or Web portal,Time of use prepaid and flat bill pricing. programmes Manage appliances via Web portal, Support any market price responsive tariff Ability to participate in alternative tariff.
requirements options,Lessons learned, Austin Energy plans to share lessons learned with other cities around the nation and the. world The collection of different technologies business models and practices can be. mixed and matched by other municipalities to create their own smart grid It is this open. ended policy that has helped Austin garner some of the top professionals in the country. During Smart Grid 1 0 Austin Energy quickly learned that one of the most difficult. challenges to overcome is the resistance stubbornness to change processes and culture. Changing a culture affects skills jobs and lives It requires time commitment and. people s willingness to change It is not something that can be mandated. For this reason the participation of customers in the second part of the journey to smart. grids into the premise will be voluntary As Austin Energy already controls 22 of its. customers thermostats for example by regulating them during peak hours the company. feels it already has a pretty good sense of what its customers want and need However it. is prudent in asserting that it would be able to manage 100 of its clients thermostats. Austin Energy has come to the conclusion that utilities alone are not enough to elaborate. the answer to the future Smart Grid as a consortium of experts from various market. segments are crucial not only for best practices but also to contain costs and spread. risks Utilities need to take on the role of orchestrators to harmonise all the tasks needed. to make the Smart Grids of the future a reality, Finally Austin Energy highlights that the redesign of enterprise system architecture and. back office integration were key to successfully orchestrate all the pieces of the project. References, Research for this case study was conducted by Roberta Bigliani and Gaia Gallotti IDC. Energy Insights on behalf of the Sectoral e Business Watch Sources and references. used include desk research plus,Interviews with, o Andres Carvallo Austin Energy Texas USA Chief Information Officer. Smart grid journey at Austin Energy Texas USA completed in August 2009 is known as Austin Energy Smart Grid impact while saving them money on their

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