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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2011

450 miles of transmission lines and facilities. PUCT recently approved the required certificates of convenience and necessity for ETT’s CREZ projects, and ETT expects to acquire rights-of-way from property owners over the next 18 months.

Smart Grid & Metering

The Hutchinson Utility Commission selected the Sensus FlexNet communications network as its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications platform with more than 10,000 AMI endpoints for electric and gas meters by 2012. Hutchinson (Minn.) expects the system to improve record-keeping accuracy and theft detection, utilize current smart grid development initiatives, and better manage and balance natural gas purchases and sales.

Scottish and Southern Energy Supply Limited (SSE) selected Elster for the first phase of its smart metering deployment, to be completed by mid-2012. SSE will use Elster’s AS300 electricity meter and the BK-G4 gas meter.

Alliant Energy contracted Open Systems International (OSI) to supply an advanced, centralized volt/VAR control (VVC) system, which is expected to enable Alliant Energy to reduce system losses, manage reactive power supply and provide the future ability to implement conservation voltage reduction. The project will initially span 333 distribution feeders, and will interface with Alliant’s AMI system. 

Survalent Technology commissioned a new SCADA system for Oxford Electric Department , which serves approximately 8,335 customers in north-central Mississippi and is a member of Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA).

Avista selected Tropos Networks and Itron Inc. jointly to develop a smart grid solution as part of a $38 million smart grid demonstration project in the city of Pullman, Wash., and the nearby community of Albion. Avista is deploying AMI, smart grid communications, and distribution automation (DA) devices. The goal of the project is to use smart technologies to increase system reliability and reduce outage time, incorporate renewable energy sources, and provide customers with more tools and information to monitor their energy usage.

M&A

Alstom has taken a 40 percent equity share in Scottish renewable energy company AWS Ocean Energy , which Alstom says represents its entry to the wave energy market. Alstom will be a shareholder alongside Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 and Scottish Investment Bank. Created in 2004, AWS Ocean Energy is developing its AWS-III wave energy converter, a 12-sided floating device that uses the action of the waves to produce electricity.

PSEG Power agreed to sell its remaining Texas generating asset, the 1,000 MW gas-fired Odessa generating facility in West Texas, to Odessa Power LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners II LP, for $335 million. There’s no debt attached to the asset and the sale isn’t subject to financing contingencies. The sale is expected to close during the third quarter of 2011 subject to customary regulatory approvals. Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to PSEG Power. The sale of Odessa will complete the Texas asset sale process announced by PSEG Power in early 2011.

Siemens acquired approximately 16 percent of U.S. pioneering solar company Semprius, which develops high concentrating photovoltaic modules. Siemens says it will act as a strategic investor to help Semprius develop its technology to market maturity. Financial details weren’t disclosed. 

DR and Conservation

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