The Tech Vendors That Will Cash in on the Smart Grid Stimulus Funds


powergridgeneric8In a couple months the $3.4 billion in stimulus funds for smart grid projects will be doled out to about 100 utilities and cities. But the tech vendors — smart meter makers, network software developers, wireless sensor gear companies — will see those funds flow down in the form of contracts. While the ecosystem as a whole will benefit, here’s a breakdown of companies that we know already have a piece of these projects:

Meter Makers:

Itron (s ITRI): The largest meter maker, with more than 14 million smart meters under contract, Itron had some significant skin in the stimulus-funded game, including contracts with CenterPoint Energy (which snagged a $200 million award for 2.2 million smart meters), San Diego Gas and Electric ($28.12 million for wireless smart grid network), DTE Energy (s DTE) ($83.83 million for 660,000 smart meters and 300 smart appliances) and City of Glendale Water and Power ($20 million for 84,000 smart meters). As Malcolm Unsworth, Itron’s president and chief executive officer, put it in a release: “The industry has been waiting for this day and these announcements since early in 2009.”

Sensus: The Raleigh, North Carolina-based meter maker scored a massive contract with Atlanta, Georgia-based utility Southern Company to provide smart meters and services for the utility’s more than 4 million customers, and has been working on a trial with Baltimore Gas and Electric, which received one of the max grants of $200 million.

Elster: Elster, one of the five biggest meter makers, has been working with the Salt River Project, which won $56.86 million to speed up its smart meter rollout.

Landis+Gyr: The century-old Swiss firm Landis+Gyr has been a leader in the traditional electricity meter market in Europe for decades and is now partnering with many European utilities on their smart meter rollouts. It’s also angling for a piece of the U.S. smart meter market, and has started working with Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which received $127.51 million to roll out 600,000 smart meters.

General Electric (s GE): GE is one of the newer smart meter players, but the conglomerate has been working with utility Oklahoma Gas & Electric on a 6,600 smart meter trial, and has a contract with PHI, which received $104.80 million for a smart meter deployment in Washington, DC. GE also has a big contract with Florida Power and Light.

Network Hardware and Software Companies:

IBM (s IBM): IBM has been working with utilities since 2004, providing them with software, services and consulting. The company has been working with many of the utilities on the awardee list, including Progress Energy (s PGN), which received a $200 million grant, NV Energy, which received $138 million, and is in discussions with with San Diego Gas & Electric.

Accenture (s ACN): Accenture, which provides consulting, services and software for utilities, says it is working on smart grid related projects with “almost 20 percent of the investor-owned utility (IOU) on the grant award list,” but the company wouldn’t detail names.

Siemens: The energy arm of Siemens, which sells consulting, services, and network products, is working with Burbank Water and Power, which won a $20 million grant.

Cisco (s CSCO): Cisco, which sells networking gear for smart grid deployments, is working with some of the utilities that got very large grants. Cisco has signed up Duke Energy (which got a max $200 million grant), and Florida Power & Light (which got the max $200 million). Cisco was also named on the application with San Diego Gas & Electric.

Silver Spring Networks: The smart grid network provider has signed up Florida Power & Light, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, PHI Holdings (including PEPCO, Atlantic City and PEPCO DC), and Modesto Irrigation District. Silver Spring told us in an email that the funding “will go a long way toward accelerating and broadening deployment of the critical Smart Grid infrastructure.”

Arcadian Networks: Wireless network developer Arcadian Networks (which uses licensed spectrum) was named in the San Diego Gas & Electric contract.

eMeter: Smart meter software management company eMeter is working with Burbank Water and Power, CenterPoint, JEA ($13.03 million), and the city of Anaheim ($5.90 million).

Viridity Energy: One-year-old Viridity Energy is one of the youngest tech startups that has scored a deal with a major utility funded under the stimulus program. The company sells software that dynamically manages loads on the grid in terms of energy pricing, renewable energy generation and energy storage, and could be described as a next-generation demand response technology. The startup is working with New York utility Consolidated Edison, which won $136.17 million for a smart grid, including “automation, monitoring and two-way communication.”

Tantalus: The wireless smart grid product developer Angier, based in North Carolina, has developed a fiber-connected smart meter for EPB, a municipal utility in Chattanooga in Tennessee that received a $111.57 million grant.



What about google?
isn’t google developing some sort of software as well?

Roger Roster

While we focus on the smart grid, it is important to also remember the other transmission infrastructure like transformers. Currently a lot of electricity is wasted precisely due to the low efficiency of transformers. Some of the stimulus package must also be directed towards improving transformer related technology. I know that Pacific Crest Transformers are doing some interesting work on energy efficient transformers, I hope other companies follow suit.

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