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Smart grid wins: 10 companies that hit it big

<p>Companies from ABB to Ambient made big gains this summer.</p>

Summertime may be a slow time of year in some industries, but not for smart grid. There are plenty of wins to report this week, from metering and a substation pilot to an advanced smart grid network for New Zealand.


Itron completed installation of its automated gas metering solution for ATCO Gas, provider of natural gas service to more than one million customers in Alberta, marking the largest gas automation project in Canada to date. Itron’s gas metering solution included 1.1 million gas communication modules, mobile and handheld collectors and associated software. Also, as part of Pennsylvania utility Duquesne Light’s smart meter program, Itron will replace the utility’s existing 625,000 electricity meters with Itron smart meters, implement sophisticated back-office data collection software, supply critical network communications infrastructure and provide professional services.

EnerNex Smart Grid Labs (SGL) and MET Laboratories announced an arrangement for collaboration on testing, analysis and training services for their energy industry clients. SGL and MET Labs work with a similar client base, offering complementary sets of services. Through this partnership, clients will benefit from the efficiencies gained in the combined resources of both companies. Capabilities include testing in distribution automation systems, cyber and physical security testing, AMI infrastructure, meter accuracy and reliability, and EVs and charging stations.

Capgemini reached an agreement, estimated at approximately $40 million, to support a comprehensive smart meter program with Consumers Energy Company (CE) in Michigan. For part of the $750 million Smart Energy Program, Capgemini will implement smart metering technology and associated network and computing infrastructure essential to the installation of approximately 1.8 million electric and 600,000 gas AMI endpoints throughout Consumer Energy’s service territory.

ABB has been selected by China’s leading power utility, State Grid of China Corporation (SGCC), to supply high-voltage products for its 220-kilovolt smart substation demonstration project, aimed at deploying and integrating intelligent solutions to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the electricity network. It is the first time that ABB’s innovative high-voltage disconnecting circuit breaker is being installed in China. ABB also confirmed it completed its acquisition of Australian solar inverter manufacturer Power-One.

Silver Spring Networks was selected by SmartCo to deploy an advanced smart grid network across New Zealand. SmartCo is pursuing an innovative new business model in New Zealand’s disaggregated market, where retailers are responsible for deploying smart meters. SmartCo and its lines company members will use Silver Spring’s platform to generate incremental revenue by providing smart metering services to energy retailers. The lines companies also will leverage the same platform to improve services for consumers, such as faster outage detection and restoration, and improved power quality.

Ambient was chosen by ConEd of New York to provide application development and communications equipment to replace discontinued technology for commercial and industrial metering. Following a year of testing and a successful pilot, this contract award signals the acceptance of the Ambient solution for a roll-out to further locations across the New York City area.

Comverge is expanding its international presence by establishing a regional R&D operation in Japan. The presence will be partially funded by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which selected Comverge to be part of its Subsidy Program for Projects Promoting Japan. This program supports global companies' establishment of new high-value-added business locations in Japan.

New developments

EnerNOC reports that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the company its third patent. “Apparatus and Method for Demand Coordination Network” focuses on the technology, tools and processes the company uses to dynamically and reliably deploy demand response resources. EnerNOC now holds five patents globally for its technology. “We're focused on serving our customers with the best possible technology and business processes,” said Tim Healy, chairman and CEO of EnerNOC. “In many cases we have been able to deliver that through proprietary IP. This patent enables us to protect our technology leadership in the demand response market.”

Honors and milestones

GE’s Digital Energy Solutions as a Service business received the Best Smart Grid Solution award at the Municipal Smart Grid Summit (MSGS) for its innovative Grid IQTM Connect services offering. At MSGS, more than 40 cutting-edge smart grid technology and consulting industry companies presented their smart grid products and solutions to 100 or more municipal utility executives for review and consideration.

British Gas reached the milestone of 1 million smart meters installed. The installations are part of a program that will see all current gas and electricity meters replaced by 2020. British Gas has taken the lead on the government-mandated rollout, and it is bringing the benefits of smart meters to its customers early. “The millionth smart meter installation represents a major milestone for our customers and for Britain on the road to a smarter energy future,” said Stuart Rolland, managing director of British Gas Smart Metering.

This article originally appeared at Smart Grid News.

Power lines image by Lisa S. via Shutterstock

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