The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved a petition by the Duquesne Light begin deploying smart meters by late 2012. A state law, Act 129, passed in 2008 mandates that Pennsylvania’s electric utilities reduce consumers’ yearly power use by one percent as of mid-2011, and three percent by mid-2013. Acts 129 also calls for power companies to reduce consumers’ peak-time usage by four and a half percent by mid-2013.
Elster, one of the world’s largest providers of electricity, gas and water meters, and related communications, networking and software solutions, has secured a contract to deliver 170,000 water meters for use in residences, government buildings and other facilities throughout Kuwait.
Silver Spring Networks, a leading smart grid technology firm, announced on February 26 that it has partnered with Exegin Technologies to develop ZigBee based software applications.
ZigBee is a wireless standard that allows smart grid components to communicate intelligently without human intervention. The protocol has gained a lot of momentum for use in smart grids because of the very low power requirements, low bandwidth, and low cost. Because of these factors, ZigBee is rapidly emerging as a favourite for transmitting information from smart meters to monitoring and controlling equipment in the home.
Silver Spring has performed well for a start-up company. It has signed up major utility companies including American Electric Power, Florida Power & Light, and Pacific Gas & Electric, among others, to deploy its smart meter technology that is built around ZigBee technology.