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Carnegie Mellon To Oversee IBM Smart Grid Model

IBM and several utility companies that make up the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition have given their Smart Grid Maturity Model to Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

The coalition announced Monday that the SEI would become the steward of the model, which was created to guide smart grid improvements. The model provides indicators for measuring progress with smart grid development, analyzing ROI, and supporting execution.

IBM led the coalition's development of the model, with support from the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) in September 2007. More than 40 utilities, representing 100 million customers, helped develop the model, which will serve as a framework for utilities, vendors, regulators, and consumers.

The model "creates a road map of activities, investments, and best practices that leads to creating a smart grid," said Paul Nielsen, CEO and director of the SEI.

"Utilities using the model will be able to establish the appropriate development path, communicate the strategy and vision, and assess current opportunities," he said in a statement released Monday.

The SEI will oversee governance, growth, and evolution of the Smart Grid Maturity Model, as well as consistency of application and analysis of its use. SEI also will ensure that stakeholders have access to related materials. The World Energy Council will help with global dissemination and adoption.

"The software development industry is a prime example of how maturity models have moved entire industries forward," said Guido Bartels, general manager of global energy and utilities industry at IBM, in a statement. "We selected SEI because of its demonstrated success in providing frameworks that enhance business and technical processes, security, resiliency, and interoperability -- all critical elements in responding to opportunities driving the sustainable supply and use of energy essential today."

The Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the National Energy Technology Laboratory support the smart grid model. The Energy Department has reported that a 5% improvement in the efficiency of the North American grid would impact the environment as much as taking 53 million cars off the road.

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