The partnerships between IT giants in smart grid projects continue. The latest venue is Amsterdam, where IBM and Cisco Systems said Tuesday they'll take separate but linked roles in the city's Smart City project.
As part of that project, Amsterdam and Dutch utility Nuon will be installing energy management systems in about 500 homes to give residents a view into their gas and electricity usage to help them save energy (see The Smart Home, Part I).
Cisco will be providing the IP-based home energy management system, which involves an energy display that links to appliances and other power-using systems within the home, as well as to smart meters provided by Nuon, through both WiFi and powerline carrier communications network, according to a Cisco spokesperson.
Cisco has said it hopes to make in-home energy management devices as part of a broad-based move into the smart grid industry (see Cisco Wants to be Everywhere in the Smart Grid). But it hasn't specified whether it will be providing such devices in the U.S. smart grid projects it's working on with Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy (see Duke Energy Enlists Cisco in Smart Grid Efforts and A Million Smart Meters for Miami).
As for IBM, it will work with Nuon to develop the applications used within the home energy displays, as well as link each home's energy management system and the datacenter where all that data will be stored.
IBM has done a lot of work helping utilities integrate various aspects of their smart grid projects. Most of that work has been linked to utility-side data management and analysis, rather that in-home energy management applications, although IBM is taking a lead role in a broad energy and water metering project in the island nation of Malta (see IBM Snags Another Smart Grid Deal and IBM Brings Smart Meters to Malta).
Smart homes are just one part of the Amsterdam Smart City project, which also includes a "ship-to-grid" program to link cargo vessels in the city's busy port to its power grid, as well as a "climate street," adding sustainable trash collection, lighting and smart meters to businesses along the city's busy Utrechtsestraat shopping corridor.
Accenture, another partner on the project, will also install "smart" systems at its Amsterdam office to identify energy consumption, as well as work with the overall project.