BoulderĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s utility company, Xcel Energy, decided that it was time to create a roadmap for a 3-year, $100 million Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“smart-gridĂ˘â‚¬Âť electrical system that would span the entire city. There were no standards, bench- marks, or tested procedures for converting a city from a conventional electric-grid system to a fully integrated smart one, though it was known that if customers can monitor the true cost of their energy,
they will automatically reduce their usage, by up to 30 percent in some cases. Of course, the smart grid would also allow Xcel to reroute power around bot- tlenecked lines, detect power outages, identify ser- vice risks, cut its use of road crews, read customer meters remotely, reduce outages, and identify false alarms more quickly.
Xcel brought in a mass of partners on the project, such as Accenture consulting for engineering, energy industry consultants, leading technologists, business leaders, IT experts, and of course, Boulder city man- agers, leaders, and user-citizens. The public and pri- vate partners were divided into eight teams, all led by a senior project manager working with a Project Man- agement Office. With all these different stakeholders, with different objectives and interests, it was crucial to have steady, reliable communication to keep every- one up to date and the project on track. Security and privacy were high-priority items on the project, and communication with the community was facili- tated through town-hall meetings, the local media,tours of project sites, and even a touring trailer allowing citizens to get a hands-on demonstration of the smart-grid technology. With the completion of the project, Xcel is now measuring its many benefits and expects it will take a year to collect and analyze all the data across all the seasons. The project partners have also created an industry consortium to establish industry standards for future, larger smart-grid projects. They now see Boulder as a living laboratory from which they can continue to learn and thereby success- fully deploy smart grids across the entire country.
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Use the case to answer the question below.
Is the $100 million Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“smart-gridĂ˘â‚¬Âť electrical system a project, if so what characteristics are identified in the case?