Engineering and consultancy giants Siemens and Accenture have beefed up their efforts to tap into the emerging global smart grid market with the formation of a new joint venture company.
The new Omnetric Group, the launch of which was announced this week, will be based in Germany and aim to combine Siemens' experience in developing products and services for the smart grid sector and Accenture's management and technology consulting expertise.
In its first year, the company plans to employ around 100 people, offering services to help utilities knit together the complex network of technologies required to create a smart grid, including distribution management systems, real-time grid operations and end point smart meters and smart appliances.
Jan Mrosik, chief executive of Siemens' Smart Grid Division, said the new company would provide an unrivaled portfolio of services for integrating smart grids' communication and IT systems.
"Utilities are seeking ways to increase capital effectiveness and reduce their costs of operations while integrating new technologies, such as distributed renewable generation and electric vehicles into their electricity networks," he said in a statement. "Doing so requires an enterprise view of systems and data through the integration of traditional IT solutions with the operational solutions required to manage the grid.
"Omnetric Group will be uniquely positioned to help utilities realize the benefits of this IT and OT 'convergence,' which is a critical step toward managing an increasingly complex and data-driven utility."
In related news, Siemens also has revealed it is collaborating with Newcastle University to test offshore platforms that will be required to transmit power from the next generation of Round 3 offshore wind farms, located far out to sea.
The research and development work will focus on testing Siemens' AC and HVDC platform designs in a wave tank, ahead of a multimillion pound full scale project.
Smart meter image by Pi-Lens via Shutterstock.