Cisco climbs aboard the smart grid bandwagon

Cisco climbs aboard the smart grid bandwagon

In response to the funding announcement, the GridWise Alliance says that the selection of a smart grid clearing-house will go a long way towards helping to track and quantify the benefits and measure the transformational potential of and opportunities available from smart grid technologies.

According to CNet News, Cisco reckons that utilities are more likely to invest in new data centres than new power plants in the coming years, and is developing a suite of smart-grid products designed to add networking smarts to the existing grid, including routers for substations and home energy-monitoring systems.

But since smart-grid technologies rely on a steady flow of information, Cisco expects that utilities will need to invest in more sophisticated IT systems to cope with the explosion of data processing and storage requirements that come with the territory of mass installation of smart meters.

The number of smart meters in the US is projected to increase from about eight million units installed, or about 6% of all meters this year, to 13.6 million installed next year and more than 33 million in 2011.

But, as CNet points out, even with millions of dollars available, building out the smart grid and the required data centres is likely to take years.

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