In union circles, they call it "burial insurance." That apt phrase denotes the severance, early retirement and re-training packages negotiated for veteran utility workers sideswiped by a changing...
the smart grid with its new advanced technology center (ATC) in Chicago. The ATC features a high-power testing laboratory that will enable S&C to test its smart-grid products at home rather than at labs outside the United States, thus accelerating the development and delivery of solutions critical to integrating renewable energy resources to the grid—particularly at the distribution level. Such innovations include automatic service restoration, energy storage and power quality equipment needed for the smart grid. The advanced testing facility also provides a location for independent quality and performance verification testing, which customers often require before deploying equipment on their systems. The ATC will also house S&C’s research and development offices, plus expanded polymer molding operations.
Utility Integration Solutions (UISOL) launched UISOL Software, a wholly owned subsidiary that will focus on expansion and support of its growing portfolio of integration software solutions for smart-grid applications. UISOL Software is headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., with a major solution center in Santa Clara. Its integration support products help utilities comply with interoperability standards and specifications such as IEC 61968, MultiSpeak and OpenADR. Its DRBizNet software is used by utilities, service providers and ISOs for demand-response management and integration. Utilities are implementing new applications for smart metering, demand response and integration of renewable energy sources as they begin building out a smarter grid. UISOL integration software solutions are aimed at dramatically reducing the cost of integration and reducing the time line and risks associated with systems integration efforts.
The ZigBee Alliance , a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, residential, commercial and consumer electronics applications, has started development of ZigBee Retail Services, a new standard focusing on the retail experience from point-of-manufacture to point-of-sale. This effort is expected to utilize the wide range of ZigBee’s existing profile capabilities, fully leverage the advantages of ZigBee’s open global solution set, and add significant new capabilities to improve the retail supply chain. The anticipated result for the retail market is a significant improvement in quality and supply chain management and efficiency, in addition to enhanced customer satisfaction. It will define applications for mobile terminals and offer plug-in modules to simplify adoption.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Trimble acquired the assets of privately-held Pondera Engineers based in Post Falls, Idaho. Pondera is an engineering and development company offering services and software tools for siting, designing, optimizing, and maintaining high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines. Pondera provides enterprise software solutions and design services for electric transmission line system operators (ISOs), engineer, procure and construct contractors (EPC) and vertically integrated utilities (IOUs). Its software suite includes TL-Pro Design Studio, PoleSTAR and Nip&Tuck solutions.
The AREVA group agreed to sell its transmission and distribution business to Alstom and Schneider Electric. The sale values AREVA’s T&D business at 4.09 billion Euros. It requires the buyer to maintain all European sites for a three-year period, and AREVA’s European employees are to be offered a similar position in the same geographical area at an equivalent qualification level and without loss of compensation or seniority. Unless the economic situation deteriorates significantly, there