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Xcel Energy to Make Boulder, CO a Smart Grid City; Support for PHEVs

Xcel Energy will implement a smart grid system for Boulder, Colorado, making that the US’ first fully integrated Smart Grid City.

The Smart House includes support for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Click to enlarge.

Smart Grid City could feature a number of infrastructure upgrades and customer offerings—for the first time fully integrated through the partnership’s efforts in Boulder—including:

  • Transformation of existing metering infrastructure to a robust, dynamic electric system communications network, providing real-time, high-speed, two-way communication throughout the distribution grid;

  • Conversion of substations to “smart” substations capable of remote monitoring, near real-time data and optimized performance;

  • At the customer’s invitation, installation of programmable in-home control devices and the necessary systems to fully automate home energy use; and

  • Integration of infrastructure to support easily dispatched distributed generation technologies (such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with vehicle-to-grid technology; battery systems; wind turbines; and solar panels).

The potential benefits of the Smart Grid City include operational savings, customer-choice energy management, better grid reliability, greater energy efficiency and conservation options, increased use of renewable energy sources, and support for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and intelligent-home appliances.

In addition to its geographic concentration, ideal size and access to all grid components, Boulder was selected as the Smart Grid City because it is home to the University of Colorado and several federal institutions, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which already is involved in smart grid efforts for the federal government.

In December 2007, Xcel Energy established the Smart Grid Consortium, bringing together leading technologists, engineering firms, business leaders and IT experts. Consortium members include Accenture, Current Group, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Ventyx. The group will provide guidance, products and services for the smart grid.

With the city now selected, Xcel Energy and its Smart Grid Consortium will spend the next four weeks to six weeks studying the city’s electricity infrastructure to develop a scope and preliminary design plan for implementing the changes. Work would start soon after, but system changes will take place over the next few years.

The first phase of Smart Grid City is expected to be in place by as early as August 2008, with implementation throughout the city continuing through 2009. Beginning in 2009, the consortium also expects to begin an initial assessment of the technologies.

After initial implementation and assessment, Xcel Energy will use the results from this effort to talk with state, federal and regulatory officials about a larger deployment throughout the company’s eight-state service territory.

Xcel Energy also unveiled a Smart Grid Consortium web site today,, which has graphics and educational materials explaining its Smart Grid vision.



What's the source? Did the author just "trip" over this story whilst catching up on the latest press releases from Xcel or was it posted previously at some news site?
Enquiring minds....and all that.

Aside from that, it's great news and thanks for sharing.

Harvey D

This is a step in the right direction to demonstrate that Power Cos can meet the PHEV BEV challenge without hardship on the end users.

Supplying electrical energy to all post 2010 PHEV and BEV users will NOT be a problem in USA, Canada and other industrialized countries.

Even coal fired power plants can be more efficient and cleaner than current gas guzzlers.


If Power Companies can start selling what they currently ground out (throw away) it's a win/win for all (esp mother nature).


It sort of begins to address the issue of who will pay for all the charging stations. I could see power companies doing it if they could charge a premium.

If electric is $1 per gallon equivalent and gasoline is over $3 per gallon, the have some margin room to pay for the chargers.

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