PG&E waiting for smart grid standards

PG&E waiting for smart grid standards

Internet protocol – the standard for Web communications – have long been standardised but Tang says that the realm of energy management requires much more.  “When you dig into the details, there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said.  It might not be very difficult to integrate a particular vendor’s software into PG&E’s back office systems but the utility wants to be able to do so without becoming “locked in” with a particular vendor.

Other utilities have lacked this foresight and have become locked in with vendors only to find out that their software is quickly outdated.  PG&E even signed up multiple smart meter manufacturers so it wouldn’t be locked in with a hardware maker either.  The utility wants to have the most compelling management tools available for its customers.

Google and Microsoft have been working with open standards for a long time and won’t have a problem with PG&E’s requirements.  Other utilities and Web companies work from a different perspective but will certainly adhere to a standard interface as a way of guarding against the chance an expensive system would become obsolete after only a year or two.

Tang says that ultimately the point is that standardisation allows for PG&E to work closely with a third-party vendor to develop user interfaces.  “If we’re doing this on more of a neutral stance, the innovation can be a lot bigger,” he said.

Pacific Gas & Electric
PO Box 56
Avila Beach, CA 93424-0056
http://www.pge.com

Google
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
http://www.google.org

Microsoft
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-7329
http://www.microsoft.com


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