FEI Company, a diversified scientific instruments company providing electron and ion-beam microscopes and tools for nanoscale applications, completed a multiple system installation at the Materials Ageing Institute (MAI) in France, a utility-oriented research center financed by Electricite de France, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., the Kansai Electric Power Co. and the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute. The MAI microscopy laboratory has now commissioned its new FEI Titan Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S/TEM) microscope, the most powerful commercially-available microscope in the world. The Titan joins the MAI’s FEI Tecnai S/TEM, Helios DualBeam and Quanta 600 Field Emission Gun (FEG) in one of the world’s premier microscopy facilities, where they will be used to study the aging of materials to improve the reliability and safety, and extend the lifetimes, of nuclear and non-nuclear power plants.
Alstom won a contract worth E90 million for the automation of Eskom’s latest thermal power plant project, Kusile in South Africa. Alstom Power will engineer, supply and install its latest ALSPA Series 6 Distributed Control System (DCS). The contract follows a similar order in November 2009 for Kusile’s sister plant, Medupi and forms part of Eskom’s multi-billion rand expansion program to double South Africa’s electricity capacity in the coming decades. This program covers the building of new capacity (like Kusile and Medupi) and optimizing existing fleets (such as retrofitting nuclear and coal plants, including Koeberg and Arnot). Alstom’s flexible control system is expected to help Eskom by enabling real-time information exchange between baseload and renewable power plants.
Ventyx announced that Romanian nuclear operator CNE Cernavoda, in conjunction with its business partner SIVECO Romania, successfully implemented the Ventyx Asset Suite enterprise asset management (EAM) software solution to manage maintenance and safety operations for its nuclear plants at Cernavoda, and has made a new four-year commitment to extend the deployment to the entire nuclear operation. CNE and SIVECO deployed Asset Suite across CNE’s two currently operational plants, Units 1 and 2, supporting a total of 600 users. As part of the new agreement, CNE committed to extend the solution to 1,000 users and deploy additional Asset Suite modules, including Engineering Change, Personnel Qualifications, Project Management and Total Exposure.
The Vineland N.J. Ramada hotel announced completion of its newly installed on-site solar project. In cooperation with Pfister Energy, the Ramada recently completed a 500-kW ground-mounted system that consists of 235-watt solar photovoltaic panels. The system will generate 620 kW hours of electricity per year, enough to power the equivalent of 50 households. The solar system’s clean renewable output will avoid the release of 863,220 lbs of carbon, 4,717 pounds of sulfur and 1,552 pounds of nitrogen emissions every year. “The Vineland Ramada will be the first member of the Wyndam Hotel family to be powered by the sun in the state of New Jersey,” said owner John Scipione.
tenKsolar executed an agreement with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) for sales of the company’s high output solar photovoltaic systems to rural electric cooperatives. tenKsolar is bringing to market the RAIS PV module, a proprietary, high output, reliable photovoltaic system that delivers maximum energy density at the lowest cost. According to NRTC President and CEO Bob Phillips, “With the innovative design and affordability of tenKsolar, electric co-ops can engage their consumer-members as partners in distributed generation.”
Wärtsilä and Hitachi Zosen have signed a business development agreement to develop and market fuel-cell based power solutions for distributed power generation applications in Japan. The combined heat and power applications, which can be run on either city gas or bio gas, will feature the use of Wärtsilä’s fuel cell technology. The applications will be developed in cooperation by both companies, and marketed by Hitachi Zosen. “This is an important step towards the commercialization of fuel cell technology,” says Mr. Erkko Fontell, director, fuel cells, Wärtsilä Finland.
3TIER completed its REmapping the World initiative, which was launched in March 2008 to address the biggest barrier to global renewable energy adoption—the lack of reliable information regarding resource potential and availability. With release of a global solar map and dataset, the company has completed its unprecedented goal of identifying and mapping the world’s wind and solar resources using a globally consistent methodology. The newly released global solar map and dataset is based on 10 to 13 years of half-hourly, high-resolution visible satellite imagery collected from nine different satellites, dispersed across the globe and covering the entire surface of the earth. Satellite imagery was processed using a uniform methodology based upon a combination of in-house and peer-reviewed research documents supported by the global atmospheric science community.
The Switch signed an agreement to supply two of its direct-drive, The Switch Drive prototypes with Schuler Group of Germany. The package consists of completely tailored 3-MW permanent magnet generators optimized to work with 2.7-MW full-power converters. The custom-built The Switch Drive permanent magnet generator and full-power converter prototype packages are scheduled for delivery and testing in April 2011. By summer the same year, they will be connected to the grid in full operation. The Schuler Group is expanding beyond its focus on the automotive industry into the wind market and aims to develop and supply large-scale wind power plants for Germany initially, and then other Central European and international markets.
groSolar, a solar power distributer and installer, joined with SOLON Corp., a North American photovoltaic manufacturer, allowing groSolar to distribute and install American-made SOLON modules that are produced in SOLON’s Tucson, Arizona factory, which currently has approximately 100 MW of annual production capacity. SOLON’s modules qualify for the “Buy American” provisions of the federal stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. groSolar will begin distributing SOLON’s PV-modules to its nationwide network of dealer-installers in April, and will be installing SOLON modules on select projects throughout the nation.
The City of Santa Rosa, Calif., completed implementation of CIS Infinity, the customer information and billing solution from Advanced Utility Systems. The city provides water and wastewater service to approximately 52,414 customers that include residential, commercial and industrial accounts. To handle billing for many of these accounts, complex rate configuration and formulas are required. Patty Kutches, revenue operations supervisor explains, “We have a sizeable number of accounts that present fairly complicated billing scenarios. For example, we have to deal with instances of looped meters as well as additive and deduct meters.” The City went live on Infinity.Link—the advanced electronic bill payment and presentment solution—concurrently with CIS Infinity.
Telvent launched its Telvent Conductor MDM that will allow the processing and assimilation of mass amounts of data from multiple AMI networks, turning this data into business information that can be made available to the entire company. Electric companies will have access to a system that integrates the entire scope of the AMI metering information and automates business processes in real time. The company says the solution, developed on a flexible architecture, is scalable so that utilities can interconnect multiple AMI networks and jointly manage millions of data items to reduce complexity and costs. Using the intelligence generated, utility managers will be able to develop innovative designs, including customized fees, time of use, and other time-dependent structures. The system is based on the PI platform from OSIsoft, which powers the acquisition, storage and recovery of data in real time on a large scale.
Arcadian Networks in March launched the AE20r, a second generation router-gateway that integrates multiple technologies with numerous applications and devices. The AE20r is designed to allow utilities to gather real-time information from virtually any converged platform, permitting utilities to manage and monitor assets and to generate smart-grid efficiencies. The new device combines Arcadian’s licensed 700-MHz spectrum with an interface to WiMAX. The multiple AE20r interfaces are capable of supporting: Arcadian 700 MHz; WiMAX (802.16e, 802.16d); Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n); 3G/4G (EVDO,GPRS,EDGE,HSPA,LTE); Serial, USB, Ethernet; and 900 MHz (ISM and MAS) industrial radio. The unit provides a standards-based platform enabling third-party integration of network management and control systems.
Open Systems International, Inc. (OSI) has been selected by the Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) to supply a comprehensive new distribution SCADA system intended to secure and modernize the national distribution grid of Trinidad & Tobago. T&TEC is primarily a T&D company; however, it also possesses a 51 percent equity interest in the largest generation company in the country. T&TEC selected OSI’s monarch (Multi-platform Open Network ARCHitecture) technology to be implemented as a new distribution SCADA platform, to improve the security, reliability and functionality of Trinidad and Tobago’s national power distribution operations, facilitating industrial and commercial productivity, as well as overall economic growth.
IBM and Johnson Controls teamed up to provide a smart building solution that can improve operations and reduce energy and water consumption in buildings worldwide.
Building on an existing relationship formed between the two organizations in 2007 to create energy efficient data centers, the new offering is intended to benefit any building or portfolio of buildings. Key elements of the offering are designed to address critical building performance areas including systems integration, energy management, enterprise reporting, space utilization, and asset management.
The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition (DRSG) announced that seven new members have joined the group. The new members are Ambient Corporation, Johnson Controls, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, EnergyConnect, CALMAC, and EnOcean Alliance.
DRSG is the trade association for companies that provide products and services in the areas of demand response and smart-grid technologies and practices.
Convergys entered into a global strategic relationship with Microsoft and introduced the Convergys Smart Communications Suite powered by Microsoft. Currently under development, the solution will provide a comprehensive next-generation business support system aimed at improving the customer experience. By combining Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 with the modular business support system capabilities of Convergys, the solution supports a shared vision of enabling service providers to rapidly deliver a wide range of new and differentiated services. The Suite is flexible, scalable and interoperable with existing systems and third-party applications, as well as with varying deployment models, and the solution is intended to offer an alternative to rival billing and CRM platforms.
Pioneer Power Solutions’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Pioneer Transformers Ltd., entered into two contracts with Hydro-Quebec. The first is a renewal of Pioneer’s 2006 master agreement for the production of pad-mount transformers. They are designed for use in grade level and underground commercial and residential electric distribution systems. Pioneer also entered a first-time contract for the supply of submersible transformers. Like the pad-mount contract, the submersibles agreement provides for a maximum term of four years, including extension options.