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Duke Energy has announced a three-year partnership with Cisco Systems Inc., a network communications company, to fast-track development of Duke Energy's smart grid.

Cisco, working closely with Duke Energy, will develop a refined, end-to-end, smart-grid communications architecture. The newly created architecture will be based on Internet protocol-based open standards - an approach that permits easy accommodation of new and emerging communications technology as it becomes available in future years.

The two companies will jointly evaluate a variety of smart-grid communications hardware and software, and oversee installation and testing of selected equipment and software throughout Duke Energy's electric grid.

In addition, Cisco will work with Duke Energy to develop and install home energy management devices to help customers control and reduce their electricity consumption. The two companies also will test a new generation of durable, weatherproof communications equipment designed for use at Duke Energy's electric substations.

Duke Energy will launch a five-year mass deployment of smart-grid technology, including more than 700,000 electric smart meters and 450,000 natural-gas smart meters, later this year in Ohio.

In Indiana, Duke Energy is seeking approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to install extensive smart-grid technology, including approximately 800,000 smart meters.

SOURCE: Duke Energy

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