Project Management Institute

Xcel Energy, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Installing a smart grid is a difficult process: The electrical utility company must not only educate its employees and develop and define standards and processes for running its operations, it must also manage stakeholders and provide valuable information about the advantages of optimizing their electrical use via the smart grid. This article explains how Xcel Energy successfully switched to a smart grid and realized its even more ambitious goal: To establish its market (Boulder, CO, USA) as a model for initiating green-energy grid projects. In doing so, it identifies Xcel's project goals and this US$100 million effort's key challenges; it discusses how the company developed and initiated this project, known as Smart Grid City, noting the specific advantages it provided to Xcel's customers. It details some of the critical operational and security challenges that the project team addressed and resolved. It then describes how the project team communicated with stakeholders, noting how stakeholder communication
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