Duke Energy has acquired a commercial solar power project located within the University of Arizona’s (UA) Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) in Tucson. Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, purchased the six-megawatt (MW) Gato Montes Solar Power Project from AstroSol. The project is expected to begin commercial operation within the next week. Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) will buy all of the electricity from the project under a 20-year agreement.
Oracle has announced plans to acquire DataRaker, which provides a cloud-based analytics platform that enables electric, gas, and water utilities to leverage data to improve operational efficiency and customer experience. Utilities are investing in both the infrastructure capable of collecting huge amounts of data smart meters and the technologies that can analyze the data. DataRaker’s solutions transform meter, customer, and network data into information that can impact organizational performance.
The UK government has published its decisions on rules for consumer engagement, privacy, and security. Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma calls the introduction of smart meters nationwide “an enormous challenge, representing a vast upgrade of our energy system, but with huge potential benefits for millions of homes and businesses and for Great Britain as a whole. Let me be clear: the consumer comes first. That’s why we are tackling issues such as privacy, security, consumer protection and communications now, working with industry and consumer groups to make sure we get this right ahead of the mass rollout.”
Peace River Electric Cooperative (PRECO) has completed initial installation of a Sensus FlexNet utility network with iCon A electric meters and will begin system wide deployment in early 2013. The new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system will serve more than 34,000 members across ten counties in central Florida. PRECO expects to complete its AMI project by the end of 2015.
As part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States, the United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced seven offshore wind awards for projects in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. These engineering, design, and deployment projects will support innovative offshore installations in state and federal waters for commercial operation by 2017.
IEEE has announced the formation of the 802.24 Smart Grid Technical Advisory Group (TAG), designed to help resolve questions and challenges regarding the use of IEEE 802 standards in smart grid applications.
Echelon Corporation and Kapsch Smart Energy are now operating 13,000 of Echelon’s smart meters for Feldkirch, Austria’s, municipal utility, Stadtwerke Feldkirch. Kapsch and Echelon also announced plans to target other utilities in Austria and Central Europe to bring the benefits of a multi-application grid modernization platform to utilities. In the next few years the partners expect this market to be nearly five million.
Cisco Systems and Huawei have joined the Wi-SUN Alliance, joining at the Promoter and Contributor levels respectively. The Alliance is a coalition of leading silicon vendors, networking companies, and utility equipment providers cooperating to ensure robust, interoperable products for Smart Grid and related utility needs.
Georgia’s Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (Cobb EMC), one of the United States’ largest electric co-ops, is now using Efacec ACS’ fault detection, isolation, and restoration (FDIR) technology on its distribution system.