SmartGridCity Becomes First Fully Functioning Smart City in the World

Tue Sep 8, 2009 10:55am EDT

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-- Reduces and Automatically Detects Power Outages in Boulder

-- Customers Will Soon Be Able to See Their Energy Usage Online


DENVER--(Business Wire)--
Xcel Energy`s SmartGridCity project in Boulder, Colo., has completed
construction of the infrastructure and launched the remaining software to enable
all SmartGridCity operational functions. This step makes it the first fully
functioning smart grid enabled city in the world that increases reliability,
provides customers with greater energy use information, and allows participating
customers and Xcel Energy to control in-home energy management devices remotely
when demand calls for it. 

"As measurable results continue to be achieved in the coming months, we look
forward to continued improvements in operating efficiencies, as well as new and
improved services for the citizens of Boulder, Colorado," said Tim Taylor,
president and CEO, Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. "We
have learned a tremendous amount from our installation of SmartGridCity and
anticipate additional benefits for us and all of our customers." 

This launch ties together all the automated functions of SmartGridCity
including: switching power through fully automated substations; re-routing power
around bottlenecked lines; detecting power outages and proactively identifying
outage risks. The deployment integrated more than 20 applications, 95 new
interfaces and more than 300 test cases. 

The latest software is proving some smart grid theories about reducing power
outages on the company`s distribution system and adding real-time monitoring
capabilities of the electric grid status. Early results indicate that smart grid
technology is allowing the company to predict equipment failure and proactively
make necessary repairs before an outage occurs. 

The SmartGridCity project also included automating three of four distribution
substations, four computer-monitored power feeders, and another 23 feeders that
are watched for voltage irregularities. Approximately 200 miles of fiber optic
cable, 4,600 residential and small business transformers and nearly 16,000 smart
meters are now connected to the smart grid system. 

The SmartGridCity construction phase on the network "backbone" was recently
completed. The collaborative effort involved the resources and expertise of the
Xcel Energy`s Smart Grid Consortium, including Accenture, CURRENT Group,
GridPoint,OSIsoft, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, SmartSynch and Ventyx.

A grid-state monitoring system, installed by CURRENT Group, is one of the
technologies being used to develop information to proactively reduce outages. By
analyzing real-time data retrieved from the sensors deployed on the distribution
grid, this system significantly minimizes low-voltage issues as well by
automatically detecting them and allowing Xcel Energy to proactively address
potential problems. 

"We can now read customer meters remotely, identify and reduce outages and false
power outage calls more quickly," said Jay Herrmann, Xcel Energy regional vice
president. "By cutting the number of times we send crews out to those calls, we
can make our crews more productive. Combining those efficiencies while reducing
outages will allow us to capture cost-savings more appropriately and benefit our
customers." 

Since the CURRENT Look installation was completed earlier this year, the company
has averted four potentially long-term outages by being forewarned about
transformers that were ready to fail. Company dispatchers were able to schedule
equipment and crews to replace the transformers - a process that can take
several hours - without any significant disruption to customer service.
Previously, customers might have been forced to wait, without power, for hours
for repairs to take place. 

The new platform will have direct customer interface opportunities. In the 4th
quarter of 2009, Xcel Energy plans to launch an in-home energy management Web
portal provided by GridPoint that will give all Boulder customers with a smart
meter the ability to review their in-home energy usage. This service will enable
customers to design and personalize energy consumption strategies. 

"SmartGridCity is a long-term test, but these first steps are exciting,"
continued Herrmann. "We look forward to gaining more insight from what we have
already installed and the new technologies that we will be testing in the
future." 

Xcel Energy will soon be seeking customers for testing of in-home energy
management devices. The devices will be used to validate and enhance the
customer energy management experience and response aspects of the SmartGridCity
pilot project. 

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with
regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy
provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to
3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through
its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in
Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com. 





Xcel Energy
Media Relations, 303-294-2300
www.xcelenergy.com



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