This week’s smart grid winners: new projects, new partnerships
By: SGN Staff
By Doug Peeples
SGN News Editor
There’s an international flavor to this week’s smart grid wins, considering AutoGrid’s strategic partnership with Japan’s biggest IT firm and China’s smart government services cloud pilot projects. We also share new projects from utility Ameren Illinois and Orange and Rockland Utilities as well as Ice Energy’s recent California deployment and EnerNOC’s win in energy management.
AutoGrid Systems, a Big Data analytics firm in the electricity and energy industry, and NTT Data Corporation, Japan’s largest IT services company, have announced a strategic research and development (R&D) agreement to develop new technologies for the energy sector based on AutoGrid’s Energy Data Platform (EDP). NTT DATA and AutoGrid will utilize big data techniques to develop a novel cloud-based demand side management application that will help electricity users save billions of dollars every year while improving grid reliability.
Under the agreement, NTT DATA and AutoGrid will focus on developing a cloud-based product targeted more toward managing energy consumption inside of buildings and facilities. To date, AutoGrid has primarily focused on providing software and services to utilities for running demand response programs or to provide services such as grid balancing. AutoGrid has said the Energy Data Platform can be used directly by large industrial customers and this is the first announced tangible step toward the goal of expanding the EDP market.
Ameren Illinois today opened a new $3.3 million testing facility that will help facilitate research and development of smart grid technologies and support the state's economic development and job creation goals. The Technology Applications Center (TAC) will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with the infrastructure and resources needed to test programs, technologies, business models and other smart grid-related energy improvements on a live grid.
Orange and Rockland Utilities, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, has started a $7.3m smart grid pilot program in Rockland County in New York. The three-year program involves installation of new operating equipment that will enhance the reliability of overall electric system for the company's customers in 14 communities across Rockland from Suffern to Nyack. O&R president and CEO John McAvoy said, "Smart grid technology helps us operate the electric system more efficiently than ever before. That means that customers will see fewer outages, smaller outages and shorter outages. In short, as a result of our smart grid projects, our customers will enjoy more reliable and more responsive electric service."