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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - May 2010

privacy issues and will continue to hold joint meetings and work toward policy solutions as the electric grid begins to collect and use digital information. The meeting to sign the MOU was hosted by the Embassy of Canada at which data privacy issues around the smart grid were discussed.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) published a report describing the design of a superconducting direct current (DC) cable system capable of moving thousands of megawatts of electricity between regions, and that is ready for commercial development. The EPRI analysis points to significant efficiency gains using superconducting DC transmission lines, with the capability to reduce transmission losses at full load by more than 150 percent compared to alternating current (AC) or high-voltage DC systems. Such a line could become an option within a decade along with extra high voltage (EHV) AC lines that are currently used to move large amounts of power over long distances. The superconducting cable system would provide 10 GW power capacity with a nominal current and voltage of 100 kiloamps and 100 kilovolts. The report also points to the cable system’s potential to enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of the existing AC power grid. “A Superconducting DC Cable” is available at

On-Ramp Wireless entered into distribution agreements for its wireless communication systems with Uniquest, a Korean technical distributor, and Meta-Tech, a Taiwanese technical distributor. A channel partnership with Uniquest allows On-Ramp to reach the Korean market and begin developing new market segments in green and smart-grid infrastructure. MetaTech has existing market presence in such market segments as metering and street lighting in Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India. The distributor agreement includes sales and technical support in each of these regions.


Lockheed Martin and Itron agreed to integrate Lockheed Martin’s SEEload demand-response management solution with Itron’s smart-grid platform. The integrated solution, which includes the OpenWay smart metering and Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management (IEE MDM) systems, is intended to reduce the cost, complexity and risk for utilities deploying smart meters and implementing demand-response programs.SEEload is one of Lockheed Martin’s SEEsuite Smart Grid Command and Control applications, and enables utilities and ISOs to precisely manage demand-response events across an entire distribution network, including substations and individual feeders. SEEload provides complete DR life-cycle management, including DR program definition and customer enrollment, real-time DR event management, and post-event DR analytics.

The California PUC selected TheStructureGroup to conduct an independent evaluation of Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) smart meters. The PUC authorized Southern California Edison to install approximately 5.3 million new smart meters, San Diego Gas and Electric Company approximately 1.4 million electric smart meters and 900,000 natural gas meters, and PG&E approximately 5 million electric meters and 4.2 million natural gas meters. As these smart meters have been rolled out, the PUC has received just over 600 complaints, almost all from PG&E’s service area.

NSTAR’s smart-grid pilot program has been approved by the Massachusetts DPUC and soon will begin enrolling customers interested in tracking and reducing their energy usage. Tendril will work with NSTAR