IBM to turn traditional electricity grids into smart grids

21 Sep 2010

IBM has unveiled new communications infrastructure technology that will better enable utilities companies to deliver solutions like smart metering and asset management. In effect it will turn traditional electricity grids into smart grids.

By providing complete consulting, design and implementation services with network technology from industry partners, IBM will deliver the first-ever comprehensive communications services offering of its kind.

This new offering will allow utilities to transform their networks and make the transition from traditional to “smart” grids.

With secure and scalable communications infrastructure integrated from the data centre all the way to the sensor or smart metre, utilities can maximise service levels, better consolidate and manage security, execute network monitoring and management functions, manage assets, meet regulatory requirements and further accelerate the deployment of smarter grids – all while meeting cost objectives.

“One of the keys to success of any smart grid initiative is having the right communications networks in place,” said Bill Moroney, CEO of Utilities Telecom Council (UTC).

“It is good to see a firm like IBM investing in global communications services to help utilities realise the full investment of their smart grid programs,” Moroney added.

IBM is now able to consult, design, integrate and implement a secure and scalable communications network. This universal approach allows utilities to have a complete view of their communications network, a network that provides the right bandwidth, availability and security measures for their smart grid projects.

“IBM was among the first companies to recognise the benefits of marrying information technology with the electricity grid,” said Guido Bartels, general manager, Energy & Utilities Industry at IBM and chairman, GridWise Alliance.

“Given our experience with more then 150 smart grid projects around the world, we are now building on that leadership by providing the first comprehensive global communications services offering of its kind,” Bartels said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years