After clearing some regulatory hurdles, the power provider for central Maryland is set to unveil a new smart grid.

In September, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BGE), Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, announced that it has teamed up with two other companies to launch a smart meter network for its 1.2 million customers. The network is part of BGE’s smart grid initiative.
The smart grid will provide customers with detailed information regarding their energy consumption and costs, and it will deliver data to the utility to allow it to improve the performance of its distribution network.

Accenture, one of the partners on the project, will provide systems integration services including the design, build and management of a customer web portal, a meter data management system, advanced metering infrastructure, and the integration of customer care, billing and outage management systems.

The other component of the new network will be a utilities meter data management system, provided by the other partner, software company Oracle. The system will help manage and analyze high volumes of meter data more effectively and provide customers with detailed energy-usage information.
The project almost didn’t get off the ground. After receiving a $200 million stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy last October, BGE’s smart-grid proposal was denied in June by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) over concerns about cost recovery and the effects on ratepayers. However, the utility submitted an amended proposal to the PSC, which it later approved. BGE projects at least $2.5 billion worth of savings for its customers over the life of the project, which will also help the Maryland reach its goal of a 15 percent reduction in total system demand by 2015.