7 June 2010 – The Federal Government today announced that Newcastle would lead Australia’s Smart Grid ambitions with the country’s first commercial-scale demonstration project, led by winning bidder for the work, a consortium led by EnergyAustralia.

The consortium also includes IBM Australia, AGL, GE Energy, TransGrid, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government.

To start mid year the $100 million Smart Grid Smart City project will also include other  NSW locations at Scone, Homebush, Ku-ring-gai and the Sydney CBD,

Announcing the project in Newcastle today, Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said Smart Grids could give Australian households and businesses the tools to reduce their energy use and energy bills into the future.

“Smart grids are critical in the fight against climate change, as they have enormous potential to improve the efficiency of our electricity sector and transform the way we use energy in our homes and businesses,” Senator Wong said.

“Smart Grids give households the ability to manage their own energy use, as they give consumers information about how much energy they are using and the costs at any time.

“Consumers can also use Smart Grids with energy efficient ‘smart appliances’ that can be set to run on off-peak power.

“If smart grid applications are adopted around Australia they could deliver a reduction of 3.5 megatonnes of carbon emissions per annum.”