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IBM and Cisco collaborate on Amsterdam energy pilot

Smart meter project to help 500 households save energy

Guess the IBM/Cisco data center standoff is confined to the data center. The two companies, once partners but now rivals -- in the data center, anyway -- are collaborating on an energy efficiency project in Amsterdam.

The two are teaming on a pilot to help Dutch utility Nuon and Amsterdam deploy an energy management system based on smart metering that's intended to enable 500 households to gain better insight into energy consumption and make better usage decisions. The group expects the pilot to allow those households to cut CO2 emissions by at least 14%.

Nuon and IBM will develop the energy management applications; Cisco will be responsible for the IP network on which the energy management information rides.

Cisco has similar projects underway in San Francisco, Miami, and with Duke Power in North Carolina. The company recently unveiled an initiative to add energy intelligence to businesses and office buildings too.

Cisco says the smart grid opportunity is between $20 billion and $100 billion and that, in terms of scale, equipping homes and offices with an IP-based intelligent energy management meter and/or system is a project 1000x that of the Internet.

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