Microsoft: Hohm of the Smart Grid?

ATLANTA  - July 1, 2009 – Like the ‘big kid’ at the summer pool party doing a cannon ball, Microsoft jumped into the smart grid deep end this past week with its announcement of the Hohm energy management solution.  With fortuitous PR timing coinciding with the Department of Energy’s release of final guidance for smart grid stimulus funding, Hohm has the potential to become a market game changer in the space and positions Microsoft to splash water all over its rival Google’s Power Meter.

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Smart Grid & Decoupled Rates: PB&J or PB&B?

ATLANTA - June 11, 2009 - Are decoupled rates required to reach the full potential of the smart grid?  Today, Fortune ran an article by GigaOM’s Justin Moresco reviewing the results of a recent Gartner Group research study. The article entitled “Electric Utilities Fail To Promote Their Energy-Efficiency Initiatives” was a bit pejorative and perhaps too sweeping. Don’t get me wrong, our company’s vision is to help in some very small way to transform the efficiency of the utility industry and in doing so help preserve the environment and facilitate economic growth, but this article vilifies an entire industry for following – and albeit helping make - the rules of the game to date.

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Smart Grid Wireless Enables Wind

ATLANTA - MAY 13, 2009 - The Arcadian Networks wind launch is making waves among the burgeoning wind power industry as utility best practices and standards for wireless communications become a high-value option for wind developers. The potential to integrate wind communications with secure, two-way wireless networks that form the backbone for smart grid communications is a message that resonated with attendees at WINDPOWER 2009 in Chicago last week. 

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White House Synchronizes Smart Grid & Energy Storage

ATLANTA - April 16, 2009 - Late this afternoon the White House announced its programs and plans for Smart Grid funding in a press release issued from the Office of Vice President Joe Biden. There were important new details included in the release and the accompanying documents released by the Department of Energy.

Synchrophasors and energy storage took prominence not only in the press release, but also in the detailed forty seven page Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) open for public comment. The FOA accounts for $615 Million of the total estimated smart grid investment of $3.9 Billion with the balance outlined under the DOE’s grant program.

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Distribution Automation Steak Makes The Smart Grid Sizzle

ATLANTA GA - March 18, 2009  - Consumer facing, national print and TV media coverage of the smart grid has reached unprecedented levels and the term is entering the mainstream consumer technology lexicon. In just the past six weeks, smart grid print feature articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The New York Times, and in countless local papers throughout the country including the Boston Herald and Chicago Sun Times. Even the paper from my home town growing up, The Buffalo News, weighed in with feature editorial on the topic.

I have to say it feels good to be called “cool” as a utility technology person at my kid’s little league baseball game.  While all of this feel good consumer marketing sizzle has raised the profile of the utility technology industry, the media glare reminds me of our industry’s need to ensure that we tend to the smart grid steak: Distribution Automation (DA) and Distribution Management Systems (DMS).

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