Colorado

Sep 9, 2009 9:18 AM by Associated Press

Xcel Energy announces launch of "smart grid" city

Xcel Energy has completed work on the infrastructure and launched the remaining software to turn Boulder into what is believed to be the first city ready to plug into the "smart grid".

The Minneapolis-based utility said yesterday that the $100 million project included stringing 200 miles of fiber optic cable and installing nearly 16,000 smart meters, which provide information to the company and consumer. About 4,600 residential and small business transformers in the city of about 100,000 are tied to the system.

The idea behind a smart electrical grid is to develop a flexible system that allows better flow and use of electricity. A more "intelligent" system is expected to better incorporate such power sources as wind and solar.

Xcel Energy is working on the venture with a consortium of companies.

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