Last month, we told you about the partnership between AT&T and SmartSynch to bring smart grid technology to residential customers. Today, they announced that they've signed on their first big utility. Texas-New Mexico Power has made a deal with the duo to roll out 10,000 SmartMeters using AT&T's wireless network.
The partnership had pilot programs set up in Texas over the past 14 months and once they were deemed successful, the utility signed on. The 10,000 homes selected to receive SmartMeters will have their energy usage monitored in 15-minute intervals. The SmartMeters will allow energy management on the part of the residents and immediately alert the utility to any power outages and customer service requests. The meters also allow the utility to remotely connect and disconnect power when residents move in or out of a home. The remote capabiliites mean less trucks going out on the road and a smaller carbon footprint for the utility.
Verizon is also looking to capitalize on smart grid technology by offering up its wireless network for smartmetering and I'm sure all the other communications companies will quickly follow suit. The potential for business growth in this area is huge, but some utilities are looking for ways around major wireless carriers. PG&E ended up going with an unlicensed wireless mesh network to save money.
written by Fred, June 30, 2009
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