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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2011

began in October 2010, includes a 300-kW solar PV ground-mounted array and a 52-kW solar PV carport array with a Class II electric car charging station. Both the ground array and the carport array are expected to be operational by July 2011. The project uses monocrystalline PV modules manufactured by the Federal Prison Industries (FPI).

Demand Response

Constellation Energy partnered with Verizon to provide a new customer-access portal, NewEnergy Online, and demand response application, VirtuWatt, to enable customers to view their energy consumption information round-the-clock, from any location with Internet access. In addition, Verizon is providing Constellation Energy with a variety of other products and services to enable the Baltimore-based company to increase efficiency and better connect its employees and support collaboration across the enterprise.

Smart Grid

Modesto Irrigation District awarded a new contract to Open Systems International (OSI) for a multi-phased real-time volt/VAR control system project. Based on the OSI Spectra distribution management system (DMS) platform, the system is intended to optimize system voltage levels, reduce system losses, manage reactive power supply and implement conservation voltage reduction. OSI says the project eventually will span 34 distribution substations and 170 distribution feeders.

PPL Electric Utilities deployed Alvarion’s BreezeMAX Extreme 3650 WiMAX system as part of its smart grid communications network. Alcatel-Lucent is providing a high-speed fiber-optic communication infrastructure for the project and managing end-to-end integration of the technologies. The communication network upgrade, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, constitutes the first phase of PPL’s smart grid project, with initial coverage of some 60,000 customers over 150 square miles in the company’s Harrisburg, Penn., operating region. The project also includes deployment of a new distribution management system. Future phases might expand coverage of distribution automation to PPL’s other operating regions across central and eastern Pennsylvania.

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) selected Siemens to implement technology in its demonstration project, including the Siemens Spectrum Power distribution management system (DMS), which facilitates operations information management and security. The KCP&L project includes four major components: distribution network management, distribution network automation, distributed energy resource and demand response management. It will use advanced metering infrastructure, meter data management, demonstration of time-of-use pricing and state-of-the-art customer end-use tools. In addition, hybrid electric vehicle charging, utility-scale battery storage and roof-top solar technology will provide the basis for enabling and managing renewable and sustainable energy resources within the project area.

Cooper Power Systems collaborated with Cisco to incorporate Cisco’s secure IP-based smart gird technology into Cooper Power Systems’ next generation substation and distribution automation systems for electric utilities. The agreement will allow Cooper to include Cisco’s rugged routers and switches, the Cisco 2010 Connected Grid Router and the Cisco 2520 Connected Grid Switch in Cooper’s systems. Integrating this technology is expected to help utility customers reduce operating costs, support new sources of distributed energy, and increase reliability while automating and improving outage management. 


The City of Naperville, Ill., selected Elster and Tropos Networks systems as part of the city’s smart grid initiative. Elster’s EnergyAxis smart grid solution and smart meters will provide advanced metering