Smart Grid Tech Taking Hold in Australia

power lines in sun photo

Photo via respres via Flickr CC

Smart grid technology is expanding in Australia and quite a few companies are finding a place for themselves within a government-mandated Advanced Metering Infrastructure program. Most recently, IBM and Silver Spring Networks have found themselves at home helping Australia update its electrical grid.Silver Spring Networks is taking its smart grid know-how international. The company has signed on with two Australian utilities, Jemena Electricity Networks Limited and United Energy Distribution, who will be using the technology to keep in line with the AMI program. They will provide network infrastructure, devices, software and variety of services, and they'll network approximately 1 million homes and businesses throughout Victoria, Australia.

And earlier this month, IBM also got hold of a slice of the pie, signing a $3.2 million systems integration deal with Energy Australia. IBM will be in charge of implementing systems that compiles the data Energy Australia collects in the field via thousands of network-connected sensors, and converts it into usable information for the utility's operations and field staff.

Australia has been active in getting their grid updated, including forming a Smart Grid Alliance last September with representatives from the power, telecommunications and IT industries, manufacturers, energy investors, relevant government agencies, research and non-profit organizations all getting involved. With actions like this, and linking up with smart grid companies like Silver Spring Networks and IBM, Australia will start seeing its first smart grids this year.

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