Smart Grid Projects in 90 Percent of U.S. States

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Although $3.4 billion in US federal funds have captured the world's attention, a multi-industry coalition is creating the smart grid, according to ON World. This coalition is developing a multi-layer standards based architecture, cross industry distribution models, and next generation energy management systems. ON World has identified 135 projects in 44 U.S. states and two territories representing 60 million households that consist of smart metering and/or in-home energy management.

A smart grid coalition of energy distributors, metering vendors, IT companies, Telecom/broadband providers, government, and consumers has emerged

Although $3.4 billion in US federal funds have captured the world's attention, a multi-industry coalition is creating the smart grid, according to ON World.

Including the recently announced funding awards, ON World has identified 135 smart grid projects in 44 U.S. states and two territories that consist of smart metering and/or in-home energy management. These projects that are in various stages of development represent a total of 60 million households. A few of the states with in-progress large scale smart meter rollouts include Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas.

"A smart grid coalition of energy distributors, metering vendors, IT companies, Telecom/broadband providers, government, and consumers has emerged," says Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. "The technical scope of this effort is staggering as this coalition develops a multi-layer standards based architecture, cross industry distribution models, and next generation energy management systems."

Developments that are driving innovation and growth of the smart grid include the following:

Smart Grid Platforms

Smart metering is the primary focus of current smart grid projects and metering is included in two-thirds of the recent smart grid funding awards. Today's smart metering platforms are rapidly expanding to include backend software integration, in-home energy management systems, and distribution automation.

This trend is illustrated by Trilliant's acquisition of SkyPilot, development of a unified software integration platform, and alliances with ABB and IBM. Other AMI vendors with expanding smart grid platforms include Elster, Itron, Landis+Gyr, and Silver Spring Networks.

Home Area Networks

ON World's survey of US smart grid projects found that about a third plan to enable two-way communications with their customers and another third are developing their demand response strategies. Over 1 million in-home devices are funded by the US smart grid awards including energy displays, thermostats, and load controllers.

While peak load management continues to be the primary driver, in-home energy management tools and systems will be one of the fastest growing segments of the smart grid. With hundreds of in-home energy management competitors today, market consolidation is underway.

Recent home area network developments include:

  • Silver Spring's acquisition of Greenbox
  • Elster's product integration with Blue Line Innovations
  • eMeter's recent launch of an in-home energy management system
  • Tendril's alliance with Fat Spaniel Technologies to integrate renewable energy analytics with its residential load management platform
  • Growth of the U-SNAP Alliance that currently has 20 members including energy providers, AMI vendors, and manufacturers
  • NIST's recently published smart grid Framework draft that includes the ZigBee/HomePlug Smart Energy Profile as well as an aggressive time table for completing relevant standards for in-home energy communications

Smart Grid Interoperability Standards

While it has received less attention than the recent funding awards, the public release of the "NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Release 1.0" illustrates the multi-industry collaboration for smart grid development. With involvement from over 1500 individuals in hundreds of organizations, this effort has identified 80 relevant standards and is specifying a multi-layered architecture for the smart grid's interconnected systems.

The framework is the product of the first phase of an aggressive three-phase program by NIST. The next steps are to identify a Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Panel due by the end of the year, develop a structure for smart grid conformity testing, and complete initial drafts for several standards relevant to smart metering and energy management by the end of 2010.

ON World's current reports on the smart grid include "Global Smart Metering," and "Energy Smart Home Area Networks." For more information go to: http://www.onworld.com/smartmeterset

About ON World:
ON World Inc. is the leader in Smart Technology research. Our market intelligence and information services are sold to Fortune 1000 companies, service providers, venture capitalists, and startups worldwide. Website: http://www.onworld.com.

Media Contact:
Mary E. Purvis
p: 858-259-2397
e: research(at)onworld.com

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