The buzz from San Diego continues


By: SGN Staff


If you didn't make the trip to sunny San Diego, we've got you covered. This is day two of our roundup from DistribuTECH ...


Customer engagement OK in OK

Oklahoma Gas & Electric released some promising results from 2,500 residential and business customers participating in year one of a two-year-smart grid study. OG&E residential customers who volunteered to participate were randomly assigned a combination of a peak price plan and smart technology. Business customers were involved as a large focus group and could select their price plan and technology. Among the findings: 1) customers with a smart thermostat achieved a maximum demand reduction of 57 percent during the peak period when compared to a control group; 2) the amount of electricity used by participants on the company’s variable peak price plan was highly influenced by price. Average energy use during the peak period ranged from a 1 percent increase during low price periods to a 33 percent decrease during high price periods, and 3) the average energy reduction during peak periods, on the highest price days, ranged from 11 percent to 33 percent, depending on smart technology ... In related news, Silver Spring Networks announced it is expanding its partnership with OG&E as the utility begins the second year of its demand response study.

Show and tell

Partnering with UISOL, Alektrona is featuring simulated demand response events between wholesale markets, utilities and in-house energy management DR devices at the conference. In addition to providing connectivity with premise-based energy devices, Alektrona's Z-Aperture OpenADR client integrates with utilities and regional transmission organizations to provide real-time pricing information and price based demand response capabilities ... Sierra Wireless is showcasing its solutions for the utility industry at DistribuTECH and also announced that Ambient has selected its AirPrime™ embedded modules to provide 3G wireless connectivity for Ambient's latest X-series smart grid communications node, used by energy and utilities companies. The X-series smart grid node is part of the Ambient Smart Grid® communications platform ... GridSense announced the commercial launch of its latest T&D line monitoring system, the LineIQ™, which it is also exhibiting this week in San Diego. "The LineIQ assists utilities in improving their reliability even in the face of aging infrastructures," noted Lindon Shiao, GridSense CEO ... Comverge is demonstrating how OnStar's EV infrastructure can be integrated with Comverge's IntelliSOURCE platform. The idea is that utilities can monitor and control the energy used by EVs, like the Chevrolet Volt, within broader energy efficiency and intelligent energy management programs.

Charging ahead

There have been several announcements on the EV front this week, including Milbank Manufacturing's news that it will provide AeroVironment's EV charging stations to its customers - including utilities, developers, contractors, businesses, and consumers - through Milbank’s nationwide distribution network. That includes major home improvement retailers serviced by Milbank ... Meanwhile ClipperCreek, a producer of Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), announced a collaboration with Jetlun Corp., which provides intelligent energy management solutions for homes and buildings. The companies will offer a smart grid-enabled EVSE to allow EV charging station owners to remotely monitor and control their EVSE and to opt-in to participate to their utility programs to reduce energy costs.

DistribuTECH roundup day 1 ...


Team spirit

Alcatel-Lucent and Tantalus are demonstrating a live LTE network using an LTE on Wheels truck to show how utilities can simultaneously support SCADA, AMI, Mobile Workforce, and other smart grid applications over a single wireless broadband network ... CURRENT Group and Oracle are expanding their relationship to help utilities conserve energy, improve efficiency and reduce outages. CURRENT's intelligent distributed sensing, monitoring, and analytical technologies provide new sources of real-time data from throughout the distribution grid, allowing Oracle Utilities software solutions to make faster and more efficient responses to changing distribution grid conditions. Elster and ABB are teaming up to provide remote wireless feeder monitoring at the medium voltage level. By integrating Elster’s Alpha-based medium voltage (MV) AGInode monitoring and communications platform with ABB’s new SCC-125 split-core combination voltage and current sensor, the companies say data gathered from medium voltage sensing points can now be combined and time-synchronized with other system-level data allowing utilities to more efficiently monitor and operate their distribution network.


On the home front

In Coming soon - a dashboard for your home, Jesse Berst earlier this week wrote about progress Control4 is making with its home energy management vision. There's plenty more buzz on that topic from San Diego, including HAI's announcement it will partner with Memphis Light, Gas and Water on its smart grid demonstration project, providing 500 home area network (HAN) devices to select MLGW customers ... Meanwhile Energate announced its next generation family of Foundation® Smart Thermostats that can pair with optional Companion® Dockable Home Energy Displays ... Verizon announced that Constellation Energy selected its high-performance IP network to power its new customer-access portal, NewEnergy Online, and demand-response application, VirtuWatt, offering customers new ways to manage energy consumption and control costs ... In announcing its expanding portfolio, Silver Spring Networks said it will be able to support new solutions such as turn-key supply and provisioning of in-home devices to simplify HAN deployments. Noting that "an essential piece of any successful energy management program is the integrated hardware and software that takes into account both the needs of the utility and the end user," Comverge revealed plans to integrate the Carrier® ComfortChoice® Touch thermostat into its IntelliSOURCE platform to enhance residential energy management programs.


Customer care

At its symposium on the eve of DistribuTECH, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative released its State of the Consumer Report, a detailed 38-page document that covers all facets of consumers and the smart grid, including their knowledge of the technology and the best opportunities to engage them. The report builds on a series of focus groups sponsored by the SGCC in October 2010 ... The third in a suite of papers on privacy and the smart grid, developed by Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner in collaboration with Hydro One, GE, IBM and Telvent, was released during DistribuTECH. "Privacy is the foundation of a trusting relationship with our customers,” noted Laura Formusa, President and CEO of Hydro One. "By considering privacy at the inception stage of creating the smart grid, we can ensure our customer’s faith in the technology, in the tools and in our company.” ... Tendril unveiled Tendril Energizeâ„¢, what it's calling the industry’s first-ever application suite based on proven behavioral science techniques that provides utilities with simple, easy-to-use tools that deliver increased, persistent consumer engagement in home energy performance.


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