Partly in response to the Department of Energy having placed interoperability high on its criteria for evaluating projects applying for some of the $3.9 billion in federal stimulus grants and also because the large utility and integrated energy companies prefer to work with fewer partners, there has been a fair bit of movement towards forming partnerships amongst some of the players in the Smart Grid space. Companies that have strengths in certain key sectors of the Smart Grid arena are linking up with players who are strong in different segments in order to be able to promote and market broader integrated solutions.
Some Partnerships that have Made News
Itron Inc., a maker of Smart Meters and Ambient Corporation, which makes communications technologies to link smart meter networks to utilities’ back offices, announced a memorandum of understanding to integrate Itron’s smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solutions, and components, with Ambient’s Smart Grid communications platform. This partnership will enable a comprehensive and complete suite of smart grid functionality that Itron and Ambient will jointly market to utility customers.
Quest Communications and Current Group a privately held startup backed by some very large players announced a new framework that allows electric utilities to integrate intelligent grid sensing systems produced by Current with Qwest’s existing low latency, secure, high capacity DSL. The systems produced by Current turn the electric grid into an intelligent network by adding sensing, low latency communications and analytic software to the electric distribution system.
Cooper Power Systems, a division of Cooper Industries, Ltd. has entered into an agreement with AT&T, to jointly market and sell to utility companies smart grid sensor devices that are certified on AT&T’s wireless data network. This will enable utilities to receive real-time system performance data allowing them to efficiently operate their electrical grids, reduce the need for on-site inspections, and identify and solve problems that could cause outages or increase system energy losses in real time.
Silver Spring Networks, which builds real-time networks based on the open standards of the Internet Protocol (IP) to provide timely information and decision making capabilities to grid operators and ABB group announced they have successfully completed interoperability testing that brings together Distribution Automation, SCADA, AMI capabilities onto a single Smart Grid platform.
© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.