It’s the early days of smart grid rollouts in Australia, but IT services provider, Logica, is already seeing substantial opportunities as applications and solutions.
Logica’s international utilities competency centre director, Jose Antunes, presented a case study at the recent National Smart Grids forum in Sydney on the Portugese-based InovGrid technology program. Formed of a consortium of industry specialists across R&D, innovation and industry solutions providers, Logica was selected as the technology service provider for the project.
The InovGrid project will encompass smart metering, distribution management and integration of renewable energies into the grid as well as consumer micro-generation (solar and wind).
Portugal is considered to be one of the most advanced European nations when it comes to green technology. It has already met the EU imposed target to have 20 per cent of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.
Logica local practice leader for infrastructure, John Buckthrop, said this case study, and other experiences with European smart grid rollouts, would help drive development of local solutions in what is a relatively immature market.
“Some utilities are still unaware of what applications they will use, and as the applications around are fairly new, they won’t necessarily be mature,” Buckthrop said.
According to Logica, a consortium approach to smart grids is the most effective manner of delivering solutions. To this end, the integrator is partnering with vendors such as Cisco to pull together overall solutions, Buckthrop added.
“There’s a great deal of opportunity out there,” he said. “The biggest change for utilities is the increase in the meter reads – meaning there is far more data to manage from the customer perspective.
“The integration of that information back into the network also opens up opportunities for business intelligence applications to be developed to sort this data. Customers will require applications to do analytics and decide how to use the information generated.”