Texas utility Oncor may have rolled out almost 250,000 smart meters to customers already, but it won’t be building out all that network infrastructure alone. On Wednesday morning, some of Oncor’s partners announced their participation in the smart meter installation (planned to reach 3.4 million by 2012), including computing giant IBM (s IBM) and software maker Ecologic Analytics.
IBM tells us it has been working on the Oncor smart meter project for a good year, but has been waiting for the rollout to reach a substantial size before talking about its involvement. IBM describes its work on the Oncor project as “the lead systems integrator” and says it will be providing its software to increase security and reliability of the smart meter system. IBM says it is working on dozens of other smart grid projects, including the smart city Amsterdam project.
Ecologic Analytics is a 9-year-old firm that makes software that connects the smart meter data to the utility back office (commonly called meter data management systems, or MDS). The company tells us its software is connecting 14 million meters, and Oncor is one of four major smart meter utility deals that the company has inked as of late — the others include PG&E (s PCG), Austin Energy, and Puget Sound. Interestingly enough, meter maker Landis + Gyr is a minority shareholder in the software maker (it’s also “self funded”) and — surprise, surprise — Landis + Gyr is also providing the meters for the Oncor project.
The Texas utility also had its own bit of news to announce this morning: It has deployed “the first 15-minute interval, billing-quality electricity consumption data reporting to the Texas market.” As we’ve pointed out the more detailed and faster the data, the more it can change consumers’ energy consumption.