IBM Expands Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition to Accelerate Smart Grid Development on Two More Continents
Today at GridWeek 2008 IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced five new members have joined the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, a group of utility companies working with IBM to accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies and business solutions throughout the world.
New members include DONG Energy of Denmark, North Delhi Power Limited of India, Progress Energy of the Carolinas and Florida, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. They join existing members CenterPoint Energy of Houston, Pepco Holdings, Inc. of Washington, D.C. and Australia’s Country Energy, bringing the total number of consumers served by coalition members to more than 50 million worldwide.
An Intelligent Utility Network fundamentally transforms the way power is generated, distributed and used, adding intelligence throughout the grid to dramatically reduce outages and faults, improve responsiveness, handle current and future demand, increase efficiency and manage costs. Consumers can interact with the utility network in multiple, convenient ways; select customized services and pricing options; and gain near real-time visibility into their usage and costs. The Intelligent Utility Network also helps consumers actively participate in solving critical energy problems by making “smart” homes and energy-conscious choices possible.
“With the addition of these five new members, the coalition has expanded beyond the United States and Australia to include utilities from Europe and India,” said Guido Bartels, general manager, IBM Energy & Utilities Industry. “This not only strengthens the coalition’s global scope, but also brings new perspectives, competencies, technology and management strategies that may work in the varied situations and market models across the world.”
The expansion of the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition into an emerging market like India is significant. By 2010, nearly 60 “mega-cities” worldwide — most of these in emerging markets — will have populations of five million or more, up nearly 50 percent since 2001. Governments, regulators and utility companies need to ensure that these mega-cities will survive under the crush of demand for access to the power grid.
Building analog utility grids is not the answer in most cases. Countries cannot afford the waste and unpredictability that characterizes energy in so many countries. By contrast, smart grids improve energy system performance, reduce energy loss and enhance customer service. The infusion of digital intelligence will also enable horizontal integration of traditional and new sources of power — wind, plug-in hybrid electric cars, solar, etc. — providing end-to-end insight across all forms of energy. In the process, it will make possible greater levels of repeatability, reliability and security.
“India’s energy demand is growing rapidly and it is imperative to ensure a robust distribution network by adopting the latest technologies to sustain this,” said Sunil Wadhwa, CEO and Executive Director, NDPL. “By being a part of this global coalition, NDPL will be engaging in a strategic effort to develop smart grid solutions to enhance the efficiency and reliability of utility operations. We are also confident that the coalition will contribute actively in energy conservation through technological intervention and strategy thereby powering India’s growth efforts.”
The coalition is devoted to finding ways to develop markets, identify cost savings and operating efficiencies, and spread knowledge through lessons learned and best practices. Accomplishments to date include the development of the Smart Grid Maturity Model, a framework for industry use to guide utilities in planning their smart grid transformation. IBM has just named industry veteran Karen Caldwell as executive coordinator to foster better collaboration among coalition members.
“We are the first European utility to join the IUN Coalition, but all member companies face similar challenges,” said Jens Jakobsson, Vice President, Distribution, DONG Energy. “In a world with increased focus on CO2 emissions and with 20 percent wind energy in Denmark — increasing in the coming years, DONG Energy have to modernize and transform the utility infrastructure in the best way. We want to improve energy efficiency and reliability of supply; and make smart grid investments while ensuring low cost. Membership in the IUN Coalition gives us the opportunity to share experiences and collaborate with the best worldwide.”
“Progress Energy is pleased to join this broad based group of utilities and IBM in a coordinated world-wide effort to move forward the emergence, capabilities and full utilization of the Smart Grid,” said Jeff Corbett, Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery at Progress Energy. “Advancing innovation and technology like this is an essential part of pursuing a balanced solution to our energy future that includes conservation, renewables, and state of the art plants. New business alliances such as this that drive shared learning and collaboration are good for the industry and will be critical to meeting the increasing complexity and challenges facing today’s energy providers.”
About DONG Energy
DONG Energy is one of the leading energy companies in the Nordics. An integrated energy company, it maintains business at all points on the energy value chain. From exploration and production, to generation, distribution, and both wholesale and retail sales, DONG Energy truly spans “from seabed to doorstep.” It is the largest generator of power in Denmark and the market leader in offshore wind power generation. DONG is also committed to research and development on ways to improve current production technologies, integrate additional forms of alternative energy, and aiming to cut CO2 emissions from the transport sector through an electric car recharging project. For more information visit www.dongenergy.com.
About North Delhi Power Limited
NDPL, a public/private venture between TATA Power and the government of Delhi, distributes power to North and Northwest Delhi. In less than six years since its inception, NDPL has been credited with introducing several pioneering consumer service and technological initiatives and has achieved a landmark reduction in AT&C losses of over 65 percent. NDPL is the first power distribution utility from India to win the prestigious Edison Award in the international category. For additional information, please visit www.ndpl.com
About Progress Energy
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 energy company with more than 21,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major utilities that serve 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. Progress Energy is the 2006 recipient of the Edison Electric Institute’s Edison Award, the industry’s highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence. The company also is the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder’s Award for customer service. Progress Energy serves two growing areas of the country, and the company is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company’s Web site at www.progress-energy.com.
About San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co.
San Diego Gas & Electric is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. Southern California Gas Co. is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.3 million consumers through 5.7 million meters. Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric are subsidiaries of Sempra Energy. Based in San Diego, Sempra Energy is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2007 revenues of more than $11 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 13,500 employees serve more than 29 million consumers worldwide. For more information visit www.sempra.com.
About the Intelligent Utility Network Coalition
The Intelligent Utility Network Coalition was created by IBM in 2007 to help accelerate the adoption of smart grid technologies and solutions globally. This effort includes: facilitating an industry community for collaboration, knowledge sharing, education and innovation; working with energy industry and standards groups, and the development and deployment of Intelligent Utility Network strategic solutions and technologies.
IBM’s ability to help develop the intelligent utility network underscores the future of IBM’s services business. The services model of the future includes analytical software coupled with high-value consulting services and world-class research underpinning it. The future of services is about providing high value services through the application of intellectual property assets in an efficient, consistent and repeatable fashion. Software plays an increasingly important role in the provision of consulting services, and the company’s involvement with the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition supports IBM’s strategy to provide high value services for energy and utilities clients in an efficient and consistently effective manner.
For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com/energy.
Media Contact: IBM Michael Maloney 516.578.5535 firstname.lastname@example.org