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Fortnightly Magazine - May 2013

Agency (PMPA) selected Tantalus to provide the communications network for its smart grid system. PMPA is a joint agency formed by 10 municipal utilities in northwestern South Carolina. Tantalus will provide load management tools and an AMI overlay that allows PMPA member utilities to remotely read any existing Itron electric, water, and gas ERT meters, and allows consumers to view their usage data over the Internet. PMPA will procure and maintain the smart grid communication network and load control devices for its members. 

ComEd completed digital upgrades to a substation that will help improve reliability for ComEd customers on the South Side of Chicago. The Wallace substation is expected to reduce the frequency and duration of power outages by analyzing up to 1,500 pieces of information every two seconds and alerting ComEd system operators when, or even before, problems arise. The Wallace facility is the first substation to be transformed into a so-called “smart substation” under the smart grid law enacted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011. ComEd expects to transform 10 substations into smart substations over the next five years.

DR & Conservation

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) will launch a new residential demand response (DR) program this summer using wi-fi communicating thermostats and the EnergyHub Mercury DR software platform. The initial deployment is expected to include 1,000 thermostats. Participating co-op members will have access to web and mobile applications for remote thermostat control and management, as well as automatic efficiency features. MVEC plans to use the DR management capabilities of the EnergyHub Mercury platform to reduce peak demand.

Energate is working with GE to supply residential DR solutions as part of the GE PowerOn Precision software platform. The agreement will use GE DR management software to control Energate’s DR platform and in-home technologies, which include smart communicating thermostats, home energy gateways, in-home displays, load control software, and communicating power switches. 

EnerNOC extended one of its utility contracts to deliver energy efficiency solutions to commercial and industrial (C&I) energy users. Two industrial energy efficiency programs, as well as a monitoring-based commissioning program for conditioned space, will be extended through the end of 2014. The program is administered by Pacific Gas & Electric and funded by California utility customers under the authority of the California Public Utilities Commission. 


SP PowerAssets Limited (SPPA) contracted Silver Spring Networks to deliver the network and control platform for the initial phase of its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project. Under this contract, SPPA, which is a member of the Singapore Power Group and owns the electricity transmission and distribution assets in Singapore, will deploy Silver Spring’s IPv6-based wireless networking platform across its service territory. Silver Spring partnered with STEE-Infocomm, a division of Singapore Technologies, for this project and will provide a variety of implementation and logistics support.

EVs & Storage

NSTAR established a new hotline to provide customers with a source of information about electric vehicles and EV technology. The information center hotline is a part of a pilot program the company is launching in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to identify a cost-effective approach to establishing EV-charging