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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - December 2011

Smart Grid

ABB is installing static VAR compensators in Hydro-Québec’s Nemiscau substation.

Hydro-Québec awarded a $50 million contract to ABB to upgrade components of an ultra-high voltage transmission system to transport hydroelectric power from northern to southern Quebec. The two static VAR compensators (SVC) in the Nemiscau substation, about 1,000 kilometers north of Montreal, provide reactive power compensation in the 735 kv network. The upgrades are scheduled to be completed by 2014.

Pecan Street Inc . announced that nine companies will join it in creating a consumer-focused smart grid built around home applications and consumer electronics. The companies—Best Buy, Check-It, Chevrolet, Freescale, Intel, Landis+Gyr, Sony, SunEdison and Whirlpool—will test consumer products on a smart grid platform and dedicate researchers to Pecan Street’s smart grid demonstration project in Austin, Texas.

Oracle Utilities integrated Echelon’s smart metering solution into its smart grid gateway. Echelon head-end software aggregates and pre-processes the data from control nodes, and passes it to the smart grid gateway, which presents the data in a unified fashion to Oracle’s applications.

AES began commercial operation at the AES Laurel Mountain project, which combines 98 MW of wind turbines with 32 MW of battery storage capacity from A123 Systems. (Photo courtesy AES Energy Storage.)

Sensus partnered with EnerNex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to demonstrate the Automated Vulnerability Detection (AVUD) system. The AVUD project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, is developing a system for cyber security vulnerability detection in smart grid components. The project will initially focus on improving security in software that controls smart meters. Sensus is providing smart meter architecture, firmware and source code to be evaluated, while EnerNex contributes expertise in evaluating smart grid utility technologies.


Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) selected Elster’s EnergyAxis as its multi-utility advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. Partially funded by a U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant, the $11.6 million turnkey project is expected to be completed in 2013.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) selected Landis+ Gyr to deploy a radio-frequency mesh-network AMI system as part of its smart grid project on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. KIUC is one of 23 electric cooperatives participating in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Smart Grid Demonstration Project. The utility plans to install new meters and network equipment over two years, beginning in 2012, and then will spend another three years in data gathering and analysis. About half of the project is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act .

Nashville Electric Service selected Landis+Gyr to install its Gridstream AMI system to meet demand response requirements from power supplier Tennessee Valley Authority, as well as provide metering and distribution automation communications throughout the utility’s service territory. Initially Nashville Electric plans to install 30,000 advanced meters and 3,000 to 4,000 load control units, and then to install smart meters at remaining consumers’ locations as business needs dictate. During 2012, the utility also plans to begin automating control of distribution system equipment, such as capacitor banks, to improve power quality and efficiency.

Siemens partnered with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (KCBPU) to deliver eMeter systems on a network of more than 69,000 electric meters and 55,000 water meters. KCBPU has also contracted with Siemens for the implementation of eMeter Energy Engage, eMeter’s customer web