Smart Grid

August 28, 2012

Unison Taps Silver Spring Networks for New Zealand Smart Grid Rollout

Silver Spring Networks, a Redwood, California- based smart energy network provider, has been selected for a smart grid project in New Zealand by a regional electric utility, Unison (News - Alert).

With headquarters in Hastings, Unison owns and operates the electricity network that serves the Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua districts of New Zealand—supplying over 108,000 connected customers with about 1,678 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually. The smart grid rollout is expected to deliver more reliable service to customers, provide enhanced management of power grid assets, and offer greater overall energy efficiency.

Silver Spring’s standards-based IPv6 networking solution will be deployed throughout Unison’s service territory.

“We are honored to partner with Unison to deliver the standards-based networking platform underpinning its innovative smart grid strategy,” said Scott Lang, CEO of Silver Spring Networks.  “Unison is deploying a smart grid infrastructure upon which it can deliver future innovations to customers and is helping establish New Zealand as a global benchmark for modern, efficient, and smarter energy networks.”

“Silver Spring Networks is recognized as a global leader in this field.  Silver Spring’s standards-based infrastructure allows us to leverage a single platform to provide many smart grid applications and solutions,” said Ken Sutherland, Unison Group CEO. “Linked in to our fiber backbone, Silver Spring’s networking platform will become the cornerstone for our smart grid by enabling real-time communication with network devices, as well as real-time monitoring of the status and quality of customer supply.”

In related news, Silver Spring Networks announced on August 10 that it has connected more than one million homes and businesses in Australia to the smart grid. In partnership with CitiPower and Powercor Australia, Jemena, and United Energy, Silver Spring Networks is providing the standards-based IPv6 networking platform, software and services to support the rollout of the State Government of Victoria’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) program. 

Customers of the following electricity distributors already are seeing the benefits of the smart grid:

  •  CitiPower, which owns and manages an electricity distribution network that serves about 264,000 customers in the Melbourne central business district and inner suburbs
  • Powercor Australia, which is Victoria's largest electricity distributor, serving more than 683,000 distribution customers
  • Jemena, which serves over 319,000 homes and businesses in northwest Melbourne
  • United Energy, which distributes electricity to more than 640,000 customers across east and southeast Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

 “Working with Silver Spring, CitiPower and Powercor have been able to roll out more than 700,000 smart meters in both dense urban areas and sparse rural territories to date, with more to come,” said Shane Breheny, CEO of CitiPower and Powercor.  “Our program is on-time and on-budget and has commenced delivering benefits to consumers via In Home Displays, remote reconnections and enhanced outage management.” 

“Silver Spring has enabled Jemena to reliably read well over 99 percent of our smart meters every day,” said Paul Adams, managing director of Jemena. “Jemena shares that information with consumers via our Electricity Outlook portal enabling them to understand their household energy usage and better manage their energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Silver Spring is helping us achieve our vision to create The Intelligent Utility,” said Hugh Gleeson, CEO of United Energy.  “Smart metering is just the first step. We are already beginning to leverage our network investment to improve energy reliability and efficiency by better managing the distribution network and empowering consumers with new tools such as our Energy Easy Internet portal.”

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Edited by Brooke Neuman