Perth, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- July 16, 2009 - Western Australian utility Western Power has issued a tender for the provision of 10,500 smart meters, as part of a four year smart grid trial.

The smart meter trial is the largest in the state, with installation expected to start in early 2010.

Once the project gets underway, 8,500 smart meters will be rolled out in Perth’s Eastern Corridor, which includes the cities of Belmont, Bayswater and Swan, the town of Bassendean, and the shires of Mundaring and Kalamunda.

Two thousand smart meters will be rolled out in Denmark and Walpole as part of the Green Town project.   

This is not Western Power’s first move into smart grid technology, the company said in a statement. It trialed devices in Claremont and Nedlands as part of an air conditioner trial in 2007/08 and has been installing new meters capable of recording data in short time intervals as standard since 2005.

A Request for Proposals for the smart meters was issued in late-June with the expectation of an agreement with a preferred tender to be in place by October 2009.

Western Power’s smart grid manager, Lisa Cunningham, said that Western Power aims to deploy a technical solution that is robust, rich in functionality, sustainable, and that matches the generational leap in capability that is representative of the future of metering infrastructure in Australia.

“It will enable a full range of energy efficiency and demand management initiatives to be tested,” said Cunningham. “The new meters will be able to leverage and interface with Western Power's advanced network communication system and existing metering data management systems.”

A significant aspect of the trial will be data collection, she added. “Western Power will use the data to better understand customers’ energy usage patterns, which will help to formulate future energy programs.”

The leading edge trial also will ensure that Perth can influence the smart grid discussion at a national level.