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The big smart grid news today is that Duke Energy has tapped Echelon to provide smart meters for a $1 billion project encompassing Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.  Echelon will also provide Duke with “powerline communications infrastructure,”  essentially Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) for the smart grid.  Despite the tantalizing possibilities, BPL proponents shouldn’t pin their hopes on this limited use case (ferrying energy data back and forth) as a savior for a technology that just won’t die.  I suspect, however, that it won’t stop some from regarding the smart grid as BPL’s white knight.