Electric power transmission

GE To Acquire Irish Power Line Monitoring Company

GE is acquiring FMC-Tech, which provides real-time power line monitoring to accelerate the commercialization of power grid technology. Based in Ireland, FMC-Tech participated in GE’s 2010 ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid. The acquisition is expected to be completed in July.

IBEC Acquires Kinects Solutions

International Broadband Electric Communications’ (IBEC) real-time demand response and energy management solutions company, GRID2020, has acquired Kinects Solutions, which provides transformer monitoring technologies and products related to detecting energy losses through diversion.

Texas Instruments Unveils New Development Kit

Texas Instruments (TI) has announced the new PLC Development Kit which the company says reflects its commitment to provide comprehensive products and tools for power line communications (PLC) development. The Development Kit is based on the industry’s only PLC modem solution capable of supporting multiple modulation and protocol standards on a single hardware platform.

ADD Semiconductor Achieves PRIME

ADD Semiconductor is the first silicon vendor to receive the official PRIME brand recognition as a technology provider. PRIME is a new worldwide narrow band power line communication technology based on OFDM that provides up to 128Kbps communications for smart grid applications. ADD’s certification process was performed by Labein-TECNALIA, one of the independent certification entities authorized by PRIME Alliance.

A123 Systems Partners in New Projects

A123 Systems, which develops and manufactures advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, has announced that AES Energy Storage is deploying 44MW of A123’s Smart Grid Stabilization Systems (SGSS) for various new projects including an energy storage project in Johnson City, N.Y.

DOE Launches Smart Grid Web Portal

The United States Department of Energy has initiated a new smart grid information clearinghouse Web site to provide a forum where information on smart grid technologies can be shared.  The beta version began July 7 and provides information on technologies, standards, rules, training and best practices.  for smart grid technologies that use sensors, infrastructure and communications devices to better monitor and control energy use.

Georgia Power Seeks Rate Hikes to Cover Smart Grid Costs

Georgia Power has petitioned the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to increase its base rates by a little more than eight percent of the company’s retail rates, to generate approximately $615 million, to recover the investment costs for cleaner generation sources, power lines, smart grid technologies, environmental controls, and energy efficiency programs to meet current and future customer demand. The proposed change in rates would be effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Oncor Supports GM Electric Cars

Leading utility Oncor has reiterated its commitment to assist in the deployment of electric cars on the heels of General Motors making the first plug-in Chevrolet Volts available in Texas.  Oncor’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Shapard, says, “From our installation of more than a million Smart Meters helping customers curb their electricity usage, to construction of 850 miles of new transmission lines delivering renewable wind power, Oncor leads utilities in making Texas the best place in America to drive plug-in cars.”

SUBNET Conference Set for October

SUBNET Solutions Inc. has announced the 2010 annual SUBNET User Group Conference will be held October 24-28 in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference highlights substation and power system advancements, technological innovation, and the continued development of the North American power systems.

New England Investing in Smart Grid

Maine and Vermont have announced separate smart grid projects. In the first, Maine’s Public Utilities Commission approved Central Maine Power’s proposed $1.4 billion power grid upgrade. CMP, the state’s largest electric utility, plans to build a new 345,000-volt transmission line, doubling the capacity of the grid’s backbone. It is the first major upgrade since 1971, and CMP says the improvements are necessary to keep the power grid stable beyond 2012. CMP spokesman John Carroll reported that the utility expects to get final permits from the Army Corps of Engineers soon and start construction in June ad will finish sometimes in 2015.