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October 23, 2009

SP AusNet Selects GE's 4G Communications Smart Grid Solution



GE Energy Services, a supplier of power generation and energy delivery technologies, reportedly announced that its WiMAX (News - Alert) fourth-generation smart grid solution is installed by SP AusNet, a diversified energy business in Australia.
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“SP AusNet is installing a highly capable smart grid communications system,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE Energy Services’ transmission and distribution business, in a statement. “This smart grid solution will help the utility enjoy the immediate benefits of smart metering, while providing them with a powerful platform to readily adopt additional smart grid technologies to further improve energy efficiencies, improve reliability, empower consumers with information and integrate cleaner energy sources.”
 
Further to the decision of the Victoria state government to upgrade its entire service area to smart meters by 2013 and eventually, the Australia government aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent and increase renewable generation to 20 percent by 2020, GE was roped in to install its smart grid infrastructure to help meet these goals.
 
Under the deal, GE’s WiMAX smart grid solution reportedly gives SP AusNet the option to provide variable pricing throughout the day, which would allow consumers to manage their energy usage and save money by moving energy-intensive activities to lower-cost, off-peak periods. GE also said that with the right rate structure, SP AusNet could spread demand more evenly throughout the day and offset the need for new power generation.
 
Since GE’s WiMAX smart grid solution is based on open standards, it had the chance to work with a consortium of leading, open standards-based technology companies to deliver this solution to SP AusNet, officials said.
 
As one of the industry’s most secure, standards-based, scalable 4G technologies for smart grid, the GE solution will lay the foundation for a host of advanced smart grid applications, from plug-in vehicles, to advanced grid control, to alternative energy sources, such as solar on rooftops. Moreover, the technology also will exceed industry standards to deliver security benefits, based upon requirements and standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Defense, to help maintain the effectiveness of computer security and computer system controls.
 
“The smart grid requires secure, proven, scalable, open standards-based solutions,” said Ray Bell, CEO and founder of GridNet, in a statement. “We are delighted to collaborate with our smart grid ecosystem partners to bring this industry-leading, open market, smart grid solution to utility customers, worldwide. SP AusNet’s decision to standardize on this infrastructure is powerful validation of its capabilities.”

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney
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