Getting tired of the smart grid yet? Well, folks, GE’s Super Bowl ad was just the beginning, and with the DistribuTech conference kicking off this morning, get ready for the floodgates to open. In addition to news from these startups, Silver Spring Networks, the so-called Cisco of the power grid, has announced a deal with east coast utility Pepco Holdings.
Pepco Holdings has 1.9 million customers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., and will use Silver Spring Networks’ smart grid technology to deliver services for advanced meters and automated applications, which it will start rolling out next month. The utility hopes to have the entire network, and services like automated meter reading, available by 2013.
Silver Spring Networks sells Internet Protocol (IP)-based software and hardware to connect utilities and customers across the power grid. The company says that just as web services flourished under an open system based on IP, smart grid technologies need to follow the same path in order to a common platform for developers that would allow for an almost infinite choice of devices and applications. Founded in 2002, the company is already working with utilities like PG&E and Oklahoma Gas & Electric, and it raised $75 million, led by the green VC folks at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.