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Smart Grid City: A blueprint for a connected, intelligent grid community. The grid today. Utilities committed to proving safe, reliable power. Must provide quality service with an aging infrastructure Supplying energy in a carbon constrained world

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the grid today
The grid today
  • Utilities committed to proving safe, reliable power.
    • Must provide quality service with an aging infrastructure
    • Supplying energy in a carbon constrained world
  • Working with non-integrated systems and processes

Smart technologies can provide solutions to modern grid challenges.

analog grid
“Analog” Grid

Centuries-old design

smart grid
“Smart” Grid
  • Energy storage devices
  • Local power generation
  • Digital sensors and controls
  • Real-time data
  • Real-time price signals
  • Broadband communications

Digital intelligence infused throughout the grid

  • Smart Homes
  • Smart Buildings
  • Electric transportation
drivers for change
Drivers for change
  • Grid reliability
    • Aging assets, heightened load
  • Environment:
    • Global climate concerns
    • State mandates for green power
  • Energy Security:
    • Homeland security
    • Dependence on foreign oil
  • Customer Choices:
    • Growing needs and expectations
    • Desire for greater flexibility and options
the grid of tomorrow
The grid of tomorrow

It’s more than just smart meters!

Over the next 10 to 20 years, our industry can evolve more rapidly than ever before.

moving beyond the traditional
Moving beyond the traditional…

The Smart Grid will:

  • Be more reliable.
  • Be self-healing and self-monitoring.
  • Be more secure.
  • Be cleaner and greener.
  • Support widespread distributed generation.
  • Help customers better control energy use in their homes and businesses.
  • Achieve lower throughput, thus lowering prices.

Xcel Energy is setting a Smart Grid benchmark among North American utilities.

xcel energy s strategy
Xcel Energy’s strategy
  • Smart Grid is an end-to-end solution
  • Aligned with environmental goals
  • Consumer-focused approach
  • Service-based business model
  • Joint R&D partner investments
    • Smart Grid Consortium formed in 2007
Accenture: IT and business modeling
  • Current Group: High-speed communications
  • Schweitzer Engineering Labs: Substation technology
  • Ventyx: Workflow management software
  • Xcel Energy

imagine. inspire. innovate.

smart grid city boulder colo
Smart Grid City - Boulder, Colo.

“An international showcase of smart grid possibilities… a comprehensive demonstration of an intelligent grid community”

  • Test technology
  • Integrate smart grid portfolio of projects
  • Prove benefits

Smart Grid City

  • Involves the entire energy pathway from the power source to the home and all points in between
  • Rich in IT
  • High-speed, real-time, two-way communications
  • Sensors enabling rapid diagnosis and corrections
  • Dispatched distributed generation (PHEVs, wind, solar)
  • Energy storage
  • In-home energy controls
  • Automated home energy use
boulder s key strengths
Boulder’s Key Strengths
  • Ideal size (50,000 customers/meters)
  • Ideal geographic location (easy access to needed grid components)
  • Ideal Smart Grid consumers:
    • Web-savvy, early adopters
    • Environmentally aware
  • Collaborative opportunities with:
    • University of Colorado
    • National Center for Atmospheric Research
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology
    • City leaders
smart grid city projects
Power Production

Energy storage

Distributed generation

Utility Operations

Smart Outage Management

Smart Distribution Assets

Smart Substations


Smart House

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Smart Grid City projects
energy storage
Energy Storage


Wind energy is stored in a battery for use when needed.

  • Consumers can use wind power when they want—not just when the wind is blowing.
  • Energy storage devices can be tapped whenever demand is high.
smart substation
Smart Substation


Digital intelligence gives substation operators remote control of facilities.

  • Allows faster adjustments to conditions
  • Prevents blackouts, makes for faster recovery
  • More flexibility to re-route power
  • Monitors help keep facilities and sites secure
smart distribution assets
Smart Distribution Assets


A smart meter detects an isolated outage in a residential neighborhood.

  • The utility pings the meter and is able to send the right crew, with the right tools, to the right location to turn power back on quickly, OR
  • Can remotely re-connect power
  • Faster restoration time and fewer outage minutes
smart outage management
Smart Outage Management


A customer’s power goes out at their home; but they don’t need to call the utility. Its already located the cause of the outage.

  • Sensors & monitors embedded throughout the grid detect abnormalities/disruptions
  • Real-time data leads to rapid diagnosis and correction
smart house
Smart House


Home appliances contain onboard intelligence that receives signals from Xcel Energy and can reduce demand when the grid is under stress.

  • Consumers automatically pre-program appliances to turn on when prices are lower.
  • Creates options for managing bills and energy consumption habits

Added green power sources

High-speed, networked connections

Plug-in hybrid electric cars

Customer interaction with utility

Real-time and green pricing Signals

Smart thermostats, appliances and in-home control devices

Smart House

plug in hybrid evs phev
Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEV)


A PHEV is capable of both charging from and discharging power to the grid.

  • Utilities may pay consumers to “borrow” PHEV energy storage in times of need
  • PHEVs can also serve as back-up generation for homeowners
  • Utilities can offer incentives to motivate charging strategies with environmental benefits
The Smart Grid offers multiple benefits for consumers, environmentalists, and the energy industry as a whole…
  • Approximately $60 to $100 million
  • Cost is offset by joint funding from partners and contributions of:
    • Utility hardware
    • IT hardware
    • Software
    • Labor resources
in conclusion
In Conclusion
  • It won’t happen all at once:
    • Smart Grid will be an evolution with long-term implications.
  • Next steps: collaborate with customers, shareholders and regulators to put scope and final designs in place.
  • Start up costs involved; but savings expected in the long run.
  • Solid focus will remain on customer choice.