Smart grid companies must have gotten their wishes granted during the holidays, because they are in a sharing mood to kick off the new year. A burst of merger and acquisition and partnership activity shows that the ecosystem is growing and there’s enough room for everyone to get a piece of the bigger pie.
Trilliant and Innovari announced the completion of interoperability testing of the Innovari Interactive Energy Platform (IEP) and the Trilliant Smart Grid Communications Platform (SCP). This combination enables utilities to improve operations and benefit customers with a shared communications infrastructure for smart grids. The Innovari IEP provides automated demand response (DR) for commercial and industrial customers. The Trilliant SCP complements the IEP with a two-way communications network to deliver grid situational awareness that enables real-time demand side management and the integration of distributed renewable energy resources.
Analytics and Engagement
Silver Spring Networks acquired longtime partner Detectent, which provides software to improve advanced metering infrastructure and utility grid operations, ensure revenue protection, and deliver enhanced customer engagement programs. Detectent’s utility analytics solutions will be offered both as a standalone solution or powered by Silver Spring’s smart grid big data platform, the SilverLink Sensor Network.
Schneider Electric, meanwhile, announced two recent partnerships. The first is a partnership with PlanetEcosystems to provide utility service providers with Efficiency Advisor, an integrated suite of software-as-a-service customer management offerings. Combining Schneider’s Wiser Home Management system with PlanetEcosystems’ P-ECOSYS customer engagement platform, Efficiency Advisor will offer features like behavioral usage efficiency, home usage reporting, personalized recommendations, and an energy marketplace for customers to find contractors and financing options for energy efficiency programs.
Schneider’s second announcement involves a partnership between its European DR division, Energy Pool, and Hyosung, a South Korean industrial conglomerate, to offer DR in the newly opened South Korean marketplace. Energy Pool will provide its DR expertise and manage operations, while Hyosung will tap into its network of industrial partners and provide IT support.
Just Couldn’t Wait
Often, companies will wait for the DistribuTECH conference to make big announcements about partnerships and new technologies, but these deals apparently couldn’t wait. They’ll be discussed at this year’s DistribuTECH in San Diego, running February 3 to 5. Last year, the theme at the conference seemed to be data analytics, as vendors showed how they can extract usable information from the plethora of data now available from meters and devices. Based on these early announcements, it appears that the one-word summary for this year’s conference will be “interoperability.”
Now that the analytics are available, vendors are realizing that they likely can’t offer all possible analytical tools for utilities on their own, so collaboration will be necessary. Whether that is through mergers and acquisitions or partnerships, I expect this trend to continue and am sure there will be more announcements at DistribuTECH from those who held back their surprises.
Tags: Conferences & Events, Mergers & Acquisitions, Smart Grid, Utility Transformations
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