Smart Grid Technology

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Managing traffic loads on a smart grid and SCADA systems

Posted by gmcquade on February 25, 2012

Weekly Intelligence Brief 15 – 22 February 2012

By ksdicks on Feb 18, 2012

Itron buys SmartSynch for $100m Companies mentioned: Siemens, TIBCO, Consolidated Edison, Fujitsu Laboratories of America, A123 Systems, Northern Powergrid, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Exalt Communication, Itron, SmartSynch, Petra Solar, and Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation

Weekly Intelligence Brief 15 – 22 February 2012

Itron buys SmartSynch for $100m

Meter giant Itron has acquired privately held SmartSynch for $100 million, to bring greater choice to utilities across the spectrum of smart metering deployments. Mississippi-based SmartSynch provides point-to-point smart grid solutions that utilize a cellular network for communications and has more than 130 customers, including nine of the top ten utilities in North America.

SmartSynch and Itron have partnered for more than a decade, delivering integrated solutions to some of Itron’s largest smart grid customers. The companies’ complementary technologies will be used to provide a solution in areas where RF mesh networks are not available, or are cost prohibitive.

SmartSynch’s technology will also meet the needs of full cellular smart grid network deployments, such as the 1.9-million electric residential and commercial & industrial meter end-point deployment at Consumers Energy.

Excluding amortization of acquired intangible assets, purchase accounting adjustments and acquisition related charges, the company anticipates that the acquisition will add approximately $50m in revenues and be dilutive to non-GAAP net earnings per share by less than $0.10 for fiscal year 2012. The parties expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2012.

Siemens, TIBCO offer smart grid services for Con Edison project

Siemens and TIBCO Software’s smart grid division will be providing smart grid enterprise integration services to Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) for a smart grid demonstration project financed by Department of Energy, under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus programme.

This duo solution will allow Con Edison to boost smart grid reliability and control capabilities for existing smart grid assets; administer daily system peaks through demand response; and decide the best method to apply developing technologies.

Using TIBCO’s enterprise messaging technology, Con Edison will get a scalable, interoperable integration framework for instant flow of information across deployed assets, while Siemens will provide its smart grid visualization capabilities for a browser-based user interface.

New York is home to one of the world’s most critical finance infrastructures and the most pervasive big building management systems.

TIBCO and Siemens will enable Con Edison to develop an architecture that can act as a blue print for other urban areas, said Murat Sonmez, EVP of Global Field Operations at TIBCO. The deployment of the smart grid integration solution is expected to be finished in May 2013.

Idaho National Laboratory, Fujitsu form smart grid initiative

Fujitsu Laboratories of America and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have announced a joint collaboration on smart grid energy management.

As part of the project, Fujitsu’s security and ad hoc communications technology will be deployed at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) in Idaho Falls to monitor building power consumption and generate vital data on energy utilization. The research collaboration will then use this data as a baseline and extrapolate it to measure efficiency and security of wider smart grid deployments.

Fujitsu will also contribute advanced security and cloud services technology from Fujitsu Laboratories of America and WisReed, an autonomous distributed network technology that enables automatic construction of a network.

A123 Systems supplies six battery energy storage solutions for the UK’s largest smart grid project

A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, announced it will supply six Grid Battery Systems (GBS) to Northern Powergrid, an electricity distribution network operator that delivers power to more than 3.8 million customers in the UK.

The GBSs will be designed for peak-load shifting to manage fluctuations in voltage on the UK’s power grid.

Expected to be operational by the end of 2012, the systems will be deployed as part of the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR), the UK’s largest smart grid project funded through the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem) Low Carbon Networks Fund.

The six GBSs that A123 will supply to Northern Powergrid include the company’s Smart Grid Domain Controller, a 2.5MW system, two 100kW systems and three 50kW systems. Each will be designed to maintain these power capabilities for up to two hours, adding flexibility to the distribution network and helping to provide consistent delivery of reliable power.

Synaptitude joins OGC to advance geospatial standards in smart grid

Synaptitude Consulting, an international Information Technology consulting-services company, and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to cooperate in promoting the use of open geospatial standards in Smart Grid software and services.

“The Smart Grid by definition has geospatial information at its core,” said Eric Nelson, Managing Principal at Synaptitude.   According to the company, every smart grid component – including a transformer, meter, air conditioner, power plant, electric car, solar panel – has a location on Earth.

In addition, every grid event or phenomenon, such as brownout, demand variability, power surge, regulation, or transmission loss, occurs within some place on the grid’s physical network, and the same applies to every external event that affects the grid, such as weather alert or cyber-attack.

Communicating location, proximity and distribution boundaries will therefore become increasingly important as the power inflow/outflow metering function and associated transactions enter homes, businesses, cars, and mobile devices.

First responders, civil engineers, street crews, and many others will ask “where” questions that can only be answered through inter-process communication between their systems and the Smart Grid. Gas and water utilities will also need open geospatial standards as their businesses become more complex and IT-intensive.

An OGC Smart Grid Ad Hoc “Geospatial Standards for the Smart Grid” will be held Tuesday, March 20, 8-10 a.m. as part of the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Austin, Texas. The meeting is free and open to the public, but registration is required (register at

Exalt Microwave Backhaul Systems selected to connect smart grid across Northern Iowa

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Corn Belt Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission electric cooperative providing power in 41 northern Iowa counties has deployed Exalt Communications’ Microwave Backhaul Systems to consolidate its legacy communications network and better manage the traffic load on its smart grid and SCADA systems.

A mix of Exalt licensed and license-exempt microwave links will help Corn Belt Power cut operational costs and enable its members to manage peak consumption more efficiently.

Corn Belt Power implemented its Watts Smart load-management system in 2010, using smart grid technology to optimize usage patterns and reduce costs. The system time-shifts electric water heaters and cycles off air conditioners to use electricity more efficiently during peak-demand periods.

To position the new load-management system for future operation, Corn Belt Power needed a more flexible network infrastructure: a lower-latency IP network that could be quickly deployed and simultaneously support TDM phone networks and serial radio traffic in their native formats. Corn Belt’s requirements led the co-op to choose microwave backhaul systems from Exalt.

Jordan’s RSS, Petra Solar and JEDCO pursue smart grid energy plan

Petra Solar, Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO) and the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) have announced a joint agreement to mobilise the first phase of the national Smart Solar Energy plan, which was proclaimed at the Jordan-U.S. Business Forum last May.

Through their collaborative efforts, Petra Solar’s SunWave Smart Solar Systems will be installed on the first 1,000 homes of the Tafileh Project, which will consist of 20,000 homes across the governorate. Residents will benefit from a reduced electric bill, as each Smart Solar System will feed electricity directly into each home.

The plan, named Let Jordan Shine, will help Jordan diversify its energy generation sources, and will be undertaken by Petra Solar, along with JEDCO – a Jordanian corporation committed to the advancement of the country through support of development projects – and RSS, a national, non-profit, non-governmental applied research institution with the mission of bringing science into the service of sustainable progress in Jordan.

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