Partnership spurs smart grid development

Duke Energy and Cisco Systems will partner to speed the development of efficient smart grid technologies.



According to GreenBiz , Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy will work with network

communications company Cisco Systems Inc. to help speed development of an

electric smart grid for the power company and its 11 million customers.  The third largest electric utility in the United States,

Duke Energy's three-year partnership with Cisco continues the utility company's

efforts to replace its electrical delivery infrastructure.

Duke Energy's current system uses analog technology and the

utility company will be replacing it with a smart grid system. The new system

will use two-way digital communication in order to reduce energy consumption;

boost energy efficiency and reliability; assist with diagnostic functions, such

as detecting outages; and integrate renewable energy sources into the new

electric grid.

The partnership also represents another effort by Cisco to

position itself as a provider of a range of smart grid tools that cover

residential to industrial use. In April, Cisco partnered with GE, Florida Power

& Light, Silver Springs Networks, and the city of Miami in a $200 million regional smart grid

project. In May, Cisco unveiled its new line of smart grid technology .  

Duke Energy and Cisco will develop an "end-to-end, smart

grid communications architecture" that will be based on Internet-protocol

standards that will easily adapt to new communications technology. The two

companies will also work together and install home energy management devices to

help customers control and reduce electricity consumption, while providing

digital connection between customers and the utility.

Duke Energy will begin a five-year mass deployment of more

than 700,000 electric smart meters and 450,000 natural gas smart meters in Ohio later this year. Meanwhile,

in Indiana,

Duke Energy is seeking approval the state Utility Regulatory Commission to install

extensive smart grid technology, which includes 800,000 smart meters. Duke

Energy is already in the process of bringing smart grid technology to its North Carolina, South Carolina,

and Kentucky

customers. The company started deploying 70,000 smart electric meters and

40,000 digital gas meters in the Carolinas.



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