• IBM to build platform showing power demand every 15 minutes
  • Platform to allow customers to better participate in markets

New York utility owner Consolidated Edison Inc. has chosen International Business Machines Corp. to build a platform that will allow its customers to monitor and control their power demand in real time.

The platform is part of ConEd’s $1.3 billion plan to install millions of smart meters for customers across its service territories that will track their power and gas use. The program will offer consumers access to demand data every 15 minutes, faster than any other service of its kind, according to ConEd.

“We see it as a game changer for the residents of New York City,” Tom Magee, general manager of ConEd’s advanced metering infrastructure implementation team, said by phone. “We are in a new phase.”

Customers receiving their power demand in real-time can more easily participate in programs that pay them for cutting their use in situations when the grid needs power most, such as during heat waves. Some utilities are already supplying data to customers, but there’s usually a lag of several hours to a day, Magee said. IBM said the new platform feeds into New York’s broader push to transform the role of utilities.

ConEd will become an “integrator” of different sources of energy, said Michael Valocchi, managing partner of the communications sector for IBM’s global business services. ConEd is still waiting for approval to deploy the smart meters, which accounts for two-thirds of the project’s cost.

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