IBM has taken a great stride into the emerging smart grid market, winning a $100 million systems integrator role with EnergyAustralia.
Under the deal, IBM will build on its existing work on EnergyAustralia’s Smart Grid program to deliver distributed generation, smart metering and demand management solutions.
It is a three-year project that will occur across five sites in Sydney and the Hunter (Newcastle, Scone, Sydney, Ku-ring-gai and Newington).
The project will be Australia’s first commercial-scale smart grid – a business opportunity that the likes of IBM and integrator, Logica, have seen as a substantial business opportunity going forward.
IBM has been involved in some 150 smart grid projects around the world. Energy and utilities partner, IBM GBS, Malcolm Irvine, said Australia was a country of interest as other nations look towards developing their own smart grids.
“I think countries are learning from one another,” Irvine said. “Certainly from a holistic point of view there’s a lot of interesting in Australia and what we’re doing here.”
The EnergyAustralia consortium consists of companies including IBM, GE Energy Australia, AGL, Sydney Water, Hunter Water and Newcastle City Council.
Irvine said he expects that more organisations in the ICT space will become involved in the project as it evolves in the coming years, and that there will be many new opportunities for engagement to emerge.
“All kinds of industries will be involved in this, from generation to retails – I can see new industries setting up around smart grids that don’t currently exist,” he said.