Hasta la fecha, la Red está compuesta por Minneapolis Xcel Energy –que trabaja en el proyecto ‘SmartGridCityTM’ en Boulder (Colorado, EE.UU.)–; la compañía asiática East China Grid; la Red de Distribución Interregional Rusa de Centro (MRSK de Centro), que creará una ciudad en Bélgorod (Rusia); el operador Alliander N.V. y la ciudad de Amsterdam (Países Bajos).
Según Matias Alonso, socio de Accenture, "puesto que las ciudades son las mayores emisoras de carbono, las autoridades municipales son cruciales para el éxito en la introducción de redes inteligentes".
"Estamos uniendo a los operadores y a las ciudades para acelerar el despliegue de redes inteligentes porque las autoridades municipales son las mejores para coordinar a los diversos partícipes del sector público y privado implicados en la lucha contra las emisiones de carbono y para transformar los hábitos de consumo de energía de sus respectivas comunidades", prosigue.
El papel de Accenture consistirá en ofrecer a los miembros de la Red soluciones tecnológicas y asesoramiento estratégico para la planificación, prueba e implantación de tecnologías de redes inteligentes.
Además, ayudará a mejorar la eficiencia energética, transformar los entornos urbanos para que sean sostenibles y ofrecer a los consumidores más alternativas de energía. Los miembros de la Red también tendrán acceso a las soluciones tecnológicas que se están desarrollando en los Laboratorios Tecnológicos de la compañía.
Los expertos de la consultora Accenture explican que, al contrario que las actuales redes eléctricas convencionales, las redes inteligentes garantizan la provisión fiable y económica de energía sostenible de alta calidad, especialmente de fuentes de energía renovable como eólica y solar. Es una forma además -aseguran- de dar apoyo a la creciente tendencia hacia la generación doméstica de electricidad y el uso de vehículos eléctricos híbridos enchufables y eléctricos puros que requieren conexión eléctrica. También permite a los consumidores tomar decisiones concretas sobre el uso energético.
Matías Alonso, socio de la consultora explica que la implantación de soluciones llamadas inteligentes, como las redes inteligentes es compleja, ya que requiere que un operador y un municipio colaboren a diversos niveles en los enfoques estratégicos, tecnológicos, de infraestructura, de gestión y de transformación necesarios.
‘Accenture está comprometida a ofrecer asesoramiento estratégico y a facilitar la colaboración entre operadores y municipios de todo el mundo para lograr resultados tangibles para los implicados’, asegura el socio de la firma.
Accenture Forms Intelligent City Network, Uniting Utilities and Cities to Accelerate Smart-Grid Deployment
Accenture Intelligent City Network to focus on transforming electricity services and reducing carbon emissions
Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has formed the Accenture Intelligent City Network, bringing together utilities and city authorities around the world who are committed to deploying smart electric grids — power systems that combine traditional and new technology to manage the flow of energy more effectively and efficiently than previously possible.
The Accenture Intelligent City Network connects utility executives and metropolitan leaders to exchange knowledge and practical experience on the planning, challenges and advantages of smart-grid technology. The Network will help create blueprints for the deployment of smart grids, including the integration of smart grids with broader investments in intelligent infrastructures, such as smart buildings and transportation, as well as new technologies and emerging standards.
Initial members of the Accenture Intelligent City Network include Minneapolis, Minn.-based Xcel Energy, which is working with Accenture on its SmartGridCityTM project in Boulder, Colo.; East China Grid Co., a Chinese transmission company; Russian Interregional Distribution Grid Company of Centre (MRSK of Centre), which will be creating an “intelligent” city in Belgorod in collaboration with the regional government; Dutch utility Alliander N.V. and the City of Amsterdam.
“Because cities are the largest emitters of carbon, city authorities are critical to the successful introduction of smart grids,” said Sander van ’t Noordende, group chief executive of Accenture’s Resources operating group. “We’re bringing utilities and cities together to accelerate smart-grid deployment because city authorities are in the best position to coordinate the many public- and private-sector stakeholders involved in the fight against carbon emissions and to transform the energy consumption habits of local communities.”
Accenture will leverage its expertise in smart-grid projects to help provide Network members with technology solutions and strategic advice for the planning, testing and implementation of smart-grid technologies. Accenture will also use its smart-grid assets and draw on its deep industry knowledge to help the Network’s members achieve their goals of improving energy efficiency, transforming urban environments for sustainability and offering consumers more energy options. The Network’s members will also have access to innovative technology solutions being developed at the Accenture Technology Labs, the R&D organization within Accenture.
Mike Carlson, Xcel Energy’s vice president & chief information officer, said, “Energy management, customer service and environmental management strategies can all be enhanced with smart-grid technologies and through a partnership between utilities and city and state regulatory leaders. As a company committed to realizing the benefits of a smarter and more efficient electric grid for our customers, the communities we serve and the environments in which we operate, Xcel Energy is excited to become a member of the Accenture Intelligent City Network to collaborate with and learn from other utilities and cities. We are pleased that Accenture is not only leading in this thinking but is working with utilities to help make an intelligent city a reality.”
Unlike today’s conventional power networks, smart grids will ensure the reliable, economic delivery of high-quality, sustainable energy, particularly renewable energy sources such as wind and solar; support the growing trend of domestic electricity generation and the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; and enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the use of energy.
Joke van Antwerpen, director of Amsterdam Innovation Motor which is affiliated with the City of Amsterdam, said, “Smart grids underpin the development of smart cities by helping to change the behavior of communities and the way they consume energy. The Accenture Intelligent City Network will accelerate the deployment of smart grids and allow cities to exchange experience on their efforts to improve the efficiency and carbon footprint of urban centers.”
David Rouls, managing director of the transmission & distribution practice in Accenture’s Utilities industry group, said, “The implementation of ‘intelligent’ solutions such as smart grids is complex, requiring a utility and a city to collaborate at various levels on the strategy, technology, infrastructure, governance and transformation approaches needed. Accenture is committed to providing strategic advice and facilitating the partnership between utilities and cities around the world to deliver tangible outcomes for their stakeholders.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With more than 186,000 people serving clients in over 120 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Accenture Teams with Xcel Energy to Build Smart Grid City of the Future
Accenture has teamed with Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), a U.S. electric and natural gas company, to build the “smart grid city of the future,” a fully inter-connected electricity system that manages the various parts of the energy grid that produce power and deliver electricity to customers.
A “smart grid” is a power system that combines traditional and new technology to manage the flow of energy more effectively and efficiently than previously possible and offers comprehensive solutions to environmental challenges facing the industry.
Accenture is a member of the cross functional team established by Xcel Energy to provide guidance as well as the products and services needed to bring Xcel Energy’s vision of a smart grid city to life. The team brings together information technology specialists, engineering firms including Current Group, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Ventyx, and business leaders.
Accenture’s role is to project manage the integration and management of data flow, including automating processes, transmission and distribution of electricity, and to help Xcel Energy manage the Smart Grid City project. In addition, Accenture will build an innovation center for Xcel Energy that will provide a lab-like environment in which Accenture and Xcel Energy will test smart grid concepts including power outages, reliability, and their potential impacts to the Smart Grid. The goal is to help Xcel Energy transform its operations to perform at a higher level and enhance its customer service.
Among the team’s initial tasks will be the selection of a mid-size community with a population of 50,000 to 100,000 residents to become a designated “Smart Grid City.” The city will represent the consumer end of the smart grid, with a fully inter-connected system managing the various parts of the energy grid involved in producing power and delivering it to customers. The city will be a real-world demonstration for emerging intelligent grid technologies and deployment strategies. The goal is to create an international showcase of smart-grid possibilities and evaluate their environmental, financial and operational benefits.
“Xcel Energy should be applauded for this industry-leading vision,” said David Rouls, global lead for Accenture Solutions for Networked Assets for Utilities. “This is not just a conceptual laboratory, but a real demonstration of how the smart grid will affect an actual city. Among the many benefits this project can provide are increased use of renewable energy source, smarter energy management, greater grid reliability and increased energy efficiency.”
“The analog grid has served its purpose for the last half century, but the future requires an integrated, digital smart grid,” said Ray Gogel, Xcel Energy’s chief administrative officer and vice president of customer and enterprise solutions. “This next-generation grid will allow customers to better manage their energy consumption while optimizing the grid through real-time generation management and distribution controls. Smart Grid City will be the first community with a fully integrated portfolio of smart-grid technologies designed to offer environmental, financial and operational benefits.”
Xcel Energy has narrowed the site location for Smart Grid City to several cities in its eight-state service territory in the West and Midwest of the United States. The team will announce the selected city in March 2008 and begin the building phase in April 2008.
“Smart Grid City has the potential to shape and transform the future of the electric grid, utilities operation and delivery,” said David Bieber, managing director of Accenture’s Utilities industry group in North America. “The customer can expect lower bills, access to intelligent home appliances, and utilities that can support plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With more than 175,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
About Xcel Energy
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 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.