Texas utility Austin Energy is initiating the first phase of its smart grid deployment using GE Energy's smart grid software. The project is one of the first of its kind in the nation. The software will improve Austin Energy's ability to prevent outages and quickly restore power if outages do occur, the utility said.

"While the smart meter is one of the most tangible smart grid components, the capabilities of the smart meter are enhanced greatly by the addition of other smart grid technologies." -- Bob Gilligan, Vice President of Transmission and Distribution, GE Energy