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Table of Contents Previous Next Previous Next Download Download Register Register Subscribe Subscribe Previous Next Previous Next April 1, 2014 35 Business Innovators informationweek.com PG&E Delivers On Promise Of Smart Meters • • • • • • • • • • • • TECH-ENABLED PRODUCT Pacific Gas & Electric is the first California utility and the largest US utility to install smart meters in its customers' homes, 9.4 million of them, in a program that's been seven years in the making. It now captures four readings an hour from each customer instead of the stan- dard one a month. The meters, in fact, are capable of taking 12 readings a minute, 720 an hour, but even collecting data every 15 minutes has been enough to set teeth on edge among home- owners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Demon- strators in Marin County, fearing an invasion of their privacy, blocked installation trucks. Smart meters capture how much energy is being consumed at each site and broad- cast that data over radio frequency to a PG&E neighborhood area network, which reports to a central datacenter. The meters aren't so smart that they know which types of home devices are consuming energy or how much energy is going to each. What they collect is raw usage data. Even so, PG&E is collecting a lot of information that it's never had before, and that information is changing how it runs its business. All those smart meters feed 2 TB of data a month into a new Teradata Data Warehouse Appliance 2700. Using the Teradata Utility Analytics software that came with the ap- pliance, PG&E has launched a service, called PG&E Interval Data Analytics, that has begun to break down the walls among groups that generate energy in PG&E plants, those that buy energy off the grid, and those responsible for substation capacity in the distribution sys- tem. These formerly isolated activities can be coordinated with the near-real-time usage in- formation pouring in from the smart meters. Peak demand at substations is the bane of the utility business. When the demand arrives, PG&E must have the power available. Each department found that "you can look at the business challenge differently if you can look PG&E's new analytics effort helps balance peak demand at substations

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