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Fresh news on smart grid, IoT and green technologies

Back-Up Generators Are Now Revenue Generators

Not long ago, backup generators were seen as simply another expense item and part of the cost of owning or managing an office building, multi-family property, hospital or university. Yeah, you needed to have them in case of emergency outages, but it was largely viewed as a sunk cost.

But no longer should generators be viewed as a required but mainly idle asset. Many New York City property owners and managers are now realizing something crucially important about backup generators:

They’re seeing that generators aren’t just able to generate power: They can also generate revenue. And they can do it in three big ways.

The first way backup generators spawn revenue is by helping landlords gain the financial benefits of various “demand response” (DR) incentive programs that aim to reduce regional energy demand during “peak load” periods.

Designed to ensure the reliability of statewide and regional electrical delivery systems during periods of highest demand, incentives for DR load reduction are provided by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO, or commonly referred to as “the statewide grid”) and Consolidated Edison, the regulated utility serving New York City and Westchester.

A properly equipped, 1.4-million-square-foot office building with quality backup generators could earn approximately $300,000 per megawatt (MW) each year in DR incentive payments for agreeing to reduce loads during peak alerts.

The second way backup generators can serve as revenue generators is during periods of “market opportunity.”  Here’s how it works:

Let’s say a large commercial property is locked into a one-year, fixed-rate energy supply contract that pegs its electricity cost at eight cents per kilowatt. During the term of the contract, however, the market price rises to nine cents. This favorable price differential presents a “market opportunity” for property owners to sell their pre-purchased electricity back into the market and profit from the price difference.

When power is being sold back to the market in this way, the end-user is likely to rely, to some extent, on backup generation to make up the energy gap to adequately power the building.

More here.

FERC Won’t Revisit Demand Response Pricing

FERC won’t be revisiting the demand response compensation rules under Order 745, commissioners said Monday.

After the Supreme Court upheld Order 745 last month, Commissioner Tony Clark urged the commission to reconsider the order’s requirement that RTOs pay DR the same LMPs as generation, which he said “continues to be widely panned by market experts.”

But at the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners winter meetings, Chairman Norman Bay and the commission’s two other members, Cheryl LaFleur and Colette Honorable, said they had no intention of revisiting the issue.

“I think that the Supreme Court got it right,” Bay said in a brief interview after a question-and-answer session with NARUC President Travis Kavulla in front of hundreds of regulators and industry stakeholders.

Bay told Kavulla, “I don’t see [FERC undertaking] any major initiatives” as a result of the court’s ruling that the order did not intrude on state jurisdiction and that its compensation scheme was not arbitrary and capricious. “I think it’s really about implementing Order 745 at this point.”

Honorable said afterward that she agreed with Bay. “I believe the court spoke very clearly… I don’t see a need to revisit compensation because the courts have upheld” FERC’s order, she said.

LaFleur, the only member of the current commission who cast a vote on the 2011 order, said she had no reason to second guess her position regarding compensation. “It’s just starting to be actually used now as the cloud [of litigation] is lifted,” she said.

More here.

The Industrial IoT USA Summit 2016

The Industrial IoT USA Summit will bring together the nation’s most influential operational and business leaders from the Manufacturing, Transportation and Energy sectors in a unique platform that promotes discussion, networking and collaboration. Taking place from April 14th-15th 2016, the event will be held in Chicago at the Warwick Allerton Hotel.

In 2015, the Industrial IoT developed significantly and saw increased interest from a range of industries. A whole host of new IoT devices emerged and all of the hype surrounding it suggests that the use of Industrial IoT connected devices will continue to grow rapidly in 2016.

As companies are increasingly seeking to leverage Industrial IoT, the Industrial IoT Summit will focus on how we can connect these complex and physical machines to reveal rich new insights for businesses.

Throughout the 2 days, attendees can learn from interactive sessions presented by expert speakers from the likes of PepsiCo, Cummins Inc., Navistar and Exelon.

As an attendee you can expect to learn from the following topics:

  • Review the value of Industrial IoT and how it can impact enterprise productivity and create value
  • Understand how to implement big data analytics as an integral part of Industrial IoT
  • Examine the security risks associated with physical breaching of Industrial IoT systems
  • Explore how Industrial IoT connectivity can save costs, create efficiences and positively impact the entire supply chain
  • Analyze the human impact of Industrial IoT and how the creation of hybrid industries will require new skill sets

Whether you are looking to network with peers, gain and share knowledge or earn up to 16CPE’s over the two days, the end-user focused Summit is not be missed.

Register for the event here and take advantage of our exclusive New Year discount at $1,200 (valid for a short time only).

About Qatalyst Global: Qatalyst Global specialises in creating strategic business meetings consisting of bespoke events, conferences, summits and webinars. We work with leading industry experts to provide meetings that bring together senior level executives to discuss current, relevant and up to date topics for their industry to enhance growth and encourage development.

Here’s What American Consumers Think About the Smart Grid in 2016

In the five years that the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative has been monitoring the utility consumer’s relationship to grid technology, the landscape has changed a lot. But some things have pretty much stayed the same.

According to the 2016 State of the Consumer report released on Monday, the things that have changed — an increasing openness to using technology to manage energy bills and incorporate renewables into the grid — could be used to strengthen the utility-customer relationship.

About half of all U.S. utility consumers aren’t familiar with terms like “smart grid” or “smart meters”, and another quarter have heard them but don’t know what they mean. That’s largely unchanged since SGCC’s first survey five years ago, SGCC executive director Patty Durand noted in a Monday presentation at the DistribuTech conference in Orlando.

But when asked whether their utility’s fundamental services have improved, more say “yes” than “no,” as the chart below indicates. That’s a sign that smart grid technologies are benefiting customers, Durand said — even if they aren’t aware of it.

While many consumer attitudes about the smart grid have remained the same, a few important changes have taken place, she noted. Specifically, SGCC’s research has shown a “statistically significant” increase — from 80 percent to 90 percent — in the number of customers who see the smart grid as important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the share of renewable energy on the grid.

More here.

The global energy landscape beyond the here and now

The oil market is in a state of flux.

Oil prices are close to a quarter of their level 18 months ago. Over the past two years, the supply of oil has grown at its strongest rate for more than a decade, fuelled by the US shale revolution. China, the world’s most important growth market for oil, is in the throes of a fundamental rebalancing of its economy. And the commitments made at the COP21 climate change meetings in Paris have raised a question mark over the long-term prospects of all fossil fuels.

Not surprisingly, much of the current attention is focused on the near-term prospects for oil. Just how low will oil prices fall and for how long?



On that question, there are clear signs that the oil market — just like any other market — is responding to the prompt of lower prices. Global oil demand in 2015 increased by more than twice its 10-year average and looks set to grow strongly again this year. And supply is beginning to wilt: US shale production is already well off its peak levels of last spring and is likely to continue to fall through much of this year.

Based on those trends, and even with the prospective increase in Iranian production, the oil market is likely to move closer into balance by the latter part of this year. That will still leave a significant inventory overhang that will take some time to work off. But it seems likely that the market will show at least some signs of turning by the end of this year.

The more fundamental question, however, is to look beyond the here and now and consider what the current turmoil may tell us about the future for oil, and energy more generally, over the next 10 or 20 years. That is what really matters for energy companies undertaking long-term investments; for governments whose economies are reliant on exports or imports of energy; and for all of us worried about rising carbon emissions.

More here.

Securing Your Smart Meter Networks Against A Cyber Attack at the European Smart Grid Cyber Security 2016

SMi Group Repots: Adrian Page, DCC Readiness Manager, Smart Metering Customer Programme, E.ON UK will attend SMi’s European Smart Grid Cyber Security Conference to discuss E.ON smart metering customer programme – a business perspective.

In his exclusive presentation Adrian Page will take a closer look at the core commitments E.ON made when commencing their smart roll out programme. He will discover why security and data privacy is included and how to spread the message.

Furthermore, conference will cover topics such as  existing technology that can be adapted to provide smart meter security (Smart Energy Networks Ltd) and UK smart metering – ensuring the cyber security of meter data exchange (CGI IT UK Ltd).

Auditory will benefit from an interactive panel session entitled: “Securing Your Smart Meter Networks Against A Cyber Attack” and will be able to discover best practices in combatting against a breach and evaluate considerations in mitigating risks.

2016 Event Highlights include:

  • The evolving regulatory standards and how to make your company compliant
  • Overcoming communication issues between IT and OT departments
  • The newest technological developments in cyber security
  • Cyber security case studies from an array of European utilities

The Confirmed Speaker Panel for 2016 includes:

  • Stephen Daniels, Strategic Business Advisor, Cyber Security Practice, CGI
  • Graham Wright, Head of Global Digital Risk & Security & CISO, National Grid
  • Mauriche Kroos, Security Officer, CIO Office, Enexis
  • Giovanni Coppolla, Product Manager, Enel
  • Roelof Klein, System Engineer/ Consultant, Alliander
  • Joe Dauncey, Chair, Energy Networks Association Cyber Security Group, Head of Information Risk & Security, SSE
  • Thomas Rütting, Managing Director, Metering, Vattenfall Europe Metering GmbH
  • Professor Tim Watson, Director, Cyber Security Centre, WMG, University of Warwick

Running alongside the conference will be an exclusive half-day post-conference workshop entitled ‘Making Information Security Work for Your Organisation’ led by Steven Watkins, Director, IT Governance Ltd.

For more information or to register visit the event website at www.smartgridcybersecurity.co.uk

For sponsorship opportunities contact Sadia Malick on +44 (0) 20 7827 6748 or email: smalick@smi-online.co.uk

For delegate enquires or to register contact James Hitchen on +44(0) 20 7827 6054 or e-mail: jhitchen@smi-online.co.uk

Customized Energy Solutions Acquires Powerit — Enhancing Demand Response Services

Customized Energy Solutions (“CES”) today announced that it has acquired Powerit Solutions, an advanced demand management company that helps businesses reduce energy costs while meeting corporate sustainability goals through renewable integration. With this acquisition, CES enhances its CES|GREEN Demand Response services for suppliers, aggregators and engineering customers by integrating one of the industry’s most sophisticated load control systems into a new offering called CES|PowerGREEN.

“Donsco has operated with an integrated CES demand response service in our PowerIt Spara software for over 6 years. The PowerIt control software has become a vital component of our plant operations and energy savings across the entire business enterprise. Having CES manage the entire platform ensures the continued success of our energy management system and a future of optimization and upgrades.” Chris Buck, VP Operations, Donsco Inc.

Traditional power provision follows a take it or leave it approach with consumers either using power and paying the price according to a utility rate or avoiding using energy altogether. Demand Response changes this dynamic by providing access to wholesale markets and rates, enabling consumers to use and pay for power in a way that respects their operational constraints while limiting the cost. By acquiring Powerit and its Spara Demand Management technology, CES augments its existing services with the ability to see individual facility loads on customer systems and control them according to their operational constraints and value — a feature which has helped Powerit’s customers save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

More here.

Smart Grid, Battery/Storage and Efficiency Companies Raise $1.7 Billion in 2015

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the Smart Grid, Battery/Storage and Energy Efficiency sectors.

Smart Grid

Venture capital (VC) funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) for Smart Grid companies increased slightly to $425 million in 57 deals, compared to $384 million in 74 deals in 2014. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, equaled $527 million, compared to $844 million in 2014.

The Top VC funded company in 2015 was SIGFOX, bringing in $115 million. Actility brought in $25 million followed by PubNub with $20 million, Smart Wires with $17.3 million and Bit Stew Systems with $17.2 million.

There were 103 VC investors in the Smart Grid category in 2015 compared to 88 in 2014. Top VC investors this year included GE Ventures, Bpi France, E.ON, EnerTech Capital, Idinvest Partners, Khosla Ventures and Maryland Venture Fund.

Smart Grid Communications companies, including Home and Building Automation technology companies, attracted the largest share of VC funding this year with $183 million in 16 deals, followed by Data Analytics companies with $63 million in 11 deals.

There were two debt and public market financing deals announced in 2015, totaling $102 million. The only IPO this year was the $98 million raised by Alarm.com.

There were 20 Smart Grid M&A transactions (10 disclosed) for $5.3 billion. The top disclosed transaction was Honeywell’s $5.1 billion acquisition of the Elster Division of Melrose Industries. Other transactions included  the acquisition of AlertMe by British Gas (part of the Centrica plc group) for $100 million, Silicon Labs’ acquisitions of both Bluegiga Technologies for $61 million and Telegesis for $20 million, and IXYS’ acquisition of RadioPulse for $22.5 million. EnerNOC, ABB, Schneider Electric, GE and Seimens have led the M&A activity in the sector since 2010.

More here.

ZigBee and Thread act to make their IoT smarts stack up

Two pieces in the complicated puzzle of smart-home options will snap together later this year when the ZigBee Alliance starts certifying devices that use the Thread protocol for networking.

The industry groups behind these two systems have agreed to work out how they can both be integrated into the same product: Thread for exchanging data packets with other devices and ZigBee for defining how applications work on the device. This should lead to ZigBee products that can talk to many more devices in the Internet of Things.

As the latest edition of the International CES trade show begins on Tuesday, consumers are faced with a slew of new standards, protocols and frameworks to tie home IoT products together as an easily managed system. On Monday, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced it’s finished a new specification it calls Wi-Fi HaLow, which uses less power so it can work in small battery-powered devices.

Consumers could benefit from steps to combine some of these approaches. Research company Parks Associates estimates that 43 percent of U.S. households will buy a connected-home product this year.

ZigBee has been around since 2002 and been used in millions of lights, sensors, locks, medical devices and other connected objects. It’s a set of technologies for dealing not just with how products connect to each other but also how applications work with them. Thread is newer, having emerged as a low-power IP (Internet Protocol) networking system in 2014.

Now the groups behind the technologies will make Thread compatible with the ZigBee Common Applications Library, a recently announced platform that covers all use cases for ZigBee. In the third quarter of this year, the ZigBee Alliance plans to launch a certification program for Thread-plus-ZigBee products.

Consumers would be able to combine those devices with other ZigBee objects while using IP networking, the standard for communications over Wi-Fi and home broadband out to the Internet. ZigBee products with Thread could also expand Thread coverage across a home by building one mesh including things like Nest thermostats, which also use Thread.

More here.

SMi reports: Registration is now live for Social Media within the Utilities Sector

SMi Group are thrilled to announce that registration is now live to attend the 5th annual conference on Social Media within the Utilities Sector.

Returning to London on 11 and 12 of April 2016, this must-attend event will showcase how to transform your business and improve customer relationships with the help of social media, making it the centre of operations, not just a useful tool.

Come prepared to listen, learn, and interact! For more information on how to join this dynamic event, please visit www.socialmediautilities.com/wsn or contact Andrew Gibbons on +44 (0) 207 827 6156 or agibbons@smi-online.co.uk.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join the only conference on social media tailored to the utility sector. Attendees will benefit from the following new highlights in 2016

  • Understand how digital marketing is key to business development
  • Learn from case studies on crisis management and containment
  • Discover how to create and manage your brand in an online environment
  • Transform your business: make your organisation more social and cultivate a network of change
  • Gain insight into social optimisation: unlock the potential of your data
  • Benefit from roundtable discussions to benchmark against peers’ social media strategy


Want to know who attended in the past? View the full list of 2014 and 2015 attendees here https://www.smi-online.co.uk/utility/uk/conference/social-media-in-the-utilities-sector?tab=downloads


  • Giuseppe Caltabiano, VP Marketing Integration – Content, Social Media, PR Strategy, Schneider Electric
  • Wendy Eyre, Social Media Manager, E.ON
  • Jane Goddard, Head of Marketing and Communications, Energy Saving Trust
  • Conor Barron, Digital Communications Manager, Bord Gais Energy
  • Alex Marshall, Group Marketing & Compliance Manager, Clarke Energy
  • Phil Young, Head of Online, Transport for London
  • Corinna Allen, Head of Communications, Southern Water Services Ltd
  • Paul Sergeant, Online Community Manager, Ecotricity
  • Laura Hopperton, Digital Content Manager, South East Water Ltd
  • Angela Maher, Digital Communications Manager, Ofwat
  • Lee Bryant, Founder, Postshift

>>> Click here www.socialmediautilities.com/wsn to view the conference programme


Don’t forget to extend your stay to attend the 2 interactive post-conference workshops:
WORKSHOP A : Containing and Managing Crisis on Social Media
Hosted by: Hannah Walsh, Senior Consultant, Hill+Knowlton Strategies

WORKSHOP B : Joining Social Inside with Social Outside: Creating the Infinity Loop for 21st Century Organisations
Hosted by: Cerys Hearsey, Lead Consultant, Postshift & Ea Ryberg Due, Consultant, Postshift

Visit www.socialmediautilities.com/wsn today to secure your £400 early bird discount.
Sponsorship Opportunities:

If you are interested in developing business in this key market, don’t miss the opportunity to brand yourself in front of those who will be shaping the next generation of social media within the utilities sector. Contact Andrew Gibbons on +44 (0) 207 827 6156 or agibbons@smi-online.co.uk for more information.

Delegate Enquiries:
To register or require more information on the conference, please contact Andrew Gibbons on +44 (0) 207 827 6156 or agibbons@smi-online.co.uk.

Social Media within the Utilities Sector
11th – 12th April 2016
Holiday Inn Kensington Forum
97 Cromwell Rd,
London, SW7 4DN


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