Newcastle will be the first Australian city to move onto a smart grid in what the government says could be a nationwide change.

The project is part of the “Smart Grid, Smart City” initiative involving the collaboration of the Federal and New South Wales governments, the CSIRO, Newcastle City Council, Energy Australia and contractors including AGL, TransGrid, GE Energy and IBM Australia.

Penny Wong
Penny Wong

The initial $100 million rollout, to take place “mid 2010,” will include the central business district of Sydney, Homebush,  Ku-ring-gai and Scone in addition to Newcastle.

Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said, “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. If smart grid applications are adopted around Australia they could deliver a reduction of 3.5 megatonnes of carbon emissions per annum.”