Redmond, WA — Microsoft has launched its first comprehensive reference architecture focused on technology integration in smart energy systems. The Microsoft Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA) is intended to help utilities become better integrated by testing the alignment of information technology with their business processes.

The Microsoft SERA has been endorsed by Accenture, Alstom Power and other global solutions companies that provide energy industry solutions. Just like with the plug-and-play model that lets devices easily connect and work with computers, Microsoft says its SERA will help create a similar plug-and-play experience with the utility grid, allowing thousands of smart devices to easily plug into and communicate with the grid due to common standards and interoperability frameworks.

Microsoft is also positioning the SERA as a means to help utilities develop and implement new smart grid projects and solutions brought about by U.S. stimulus funds. The company worked with partners in the power industry to ensure the SERA addresses utilities' information technology needs.

"Alstom has established a long-term relationship with Microsoft in order to provide cost-efficient, scalable architectures for electrical producers like solar, hydro, wind, coal, steam or nuclear power plants," said Laurent Demortier, senior vice president of Alstom Power's Energy Management Business. "This Microsoft reference architecture accelerates solution development to enable developers to provide enhanced, more cost-effective, secure and scalable solutions."

In recent month Microsoft unveiled another utility offering, Microsoft Hohm, which is an online application that provides utility customers with insight into the supply and demand of residential energy use.

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