PART 1 – We Asked … and You Told Us: Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2010
Jan 6, 2010
Back in November I did a piece on Smart Grid companies to be thankful for. That article looked back at companies that have firmly established themselves as leaders. Now it’s time to look forward. Which companies will emerge as the stars of 2010? We asked you to nominate the 10 Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2010.
We got some thought-provoking response (despite some silly ballot-stuffing I’ll tell you about later). The great part: Nominations came from all quarters. Some were obviously PR people, but we also had nominations from employees, from VCs, and from CEOs nominating companies other than their own.
As you’ll see, the nominees are a diverse bunch, from little-known startups to well-known giants.
Our team reviewed all the nominations and did a preliminary sort. Posted below is the first set of Smart Grid companies that made the cut; we’ll run the remaining ones over the next few days so be sure to check back. Also, what appears below is abbreviated versions of the text provided by the person who nominated the company; we have not verified the information for accuracy. Normally, we vet things before we pass them along to you. In this case, we wanted you to see what readers said themselves.
After we run your nominations we will suggest a few additional companies that we think belong on the list – and then you can vote to pick the 10 companies to watch in 2010.
Here are the first four, selected randomly:
Consert (demand response and carbon management) – Delivering empirically verifiable, real-time, two-way interactive, standards-based communication and control systems under the control of the utility and its customers, Consert offers reliable grid intelligence and cost-effective clean energy. Consert’s patent-pending method to measure, aggregate and verify carbon savings at the device level creates the world’s most accurate carbon management and provides potential new revenue streams for utilities. Consert’s software-as-a-service system allows consumers to monitor and reduce energy usage while concurrently granting public utilities dynamic permission to adjust customers’ loads and obtain real-time data to improve demand forecasting, outage and asset management and enable better preparation and management of peak loads. The Consert Solution is at work with three active pilots in North Carolina. Additional pilots will launch in Michigan, North Carolina and Texas in 2010. Consert is one of only five companies to receive IBM’s Solution Architecture for Energy and Utilities Framework certification.
[Note from Jesse: They also deliver more buzzwords per sentence that any other entrant. Yuck.]
GRIDiant (command & control) – As the world spends millions of dollars on AMR and AMI solutions, they will soon turn their attention to “grid brains.” We call this market Advanced Grid Management or AGM. GRIDiant’s GRIDmaster application suite optimizes, controls, and manages grid performance while also performing health checks on every physical and calculated component of the smart grid. This application is a massive, enterprise-class non-linear application that has been fine tuned with seven major US utility companies and will be introduced to the market at Distributech in late March 2010. Both IBM and KEMA have selected GRIDmaster as their “grid brains” application and GRIDmaster will be in both of their booths. GRIDiant is already working with 17 utility companies who have been approved for ARRA stimulus funds to install their software.
[Note from Jesse: Command and control is indeed an area that is ripe for expansion, but rest assured that Siemens, Areva, Lockheed Martin and others are working on solutions too.]
S&C Electric (distribution automation) – S&C has been delivering innovation for nearly 100 years and remains committed to transforming the delivery infrastructure that will power the intelligent grid. S&C is continually creating solutions that make the grid more intelligent as it moves into the digital age. Smart grid is more about electronic meters, it’s about keeping electricity following and integrating renewable resources into the grid. That’s where S&C comes into play. S&C’s smart grid offerings help utilities incorporate self-healing technology to restore power automatically after a fault, improve electric service reliability and improve operating efficiency. In early 2010, S&C will be launching its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Chicago. This high-power testing laboratory will enable testing of innovative new products at home rather than relying on test labs outside the U.S, thus enabling the U.S. to grow as a stronger player in the smart grid arena. This building will be the first industrial building in Chicago to hold LEED Gold Certification and will also have a Green ENERGY STAR roof.
[Note from Jesse: This is one “old-school” company that has genuinely shifted to the Smart Grid mindset.]
Xtreme Power (grid-scale energy storage) – Clean energy sources are plagued with intermittency issues, creating nationwide challenges for Smart Grid implementation. For the Smart Grid to reach its full potential, we must utilize smart storage technologies to seamlessly deliver predictable clean power, especially at peak operating times. Xtreme Power systems enable more efficient use of existing large-scale power generation and distribution resources, offering significant improvements to grid operations through energy savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Xtreme Power’s energy storage systems can vary in both size and scale to deliver the smooth, predictable power required for a truly smart grid. With large-scale solid-state power management systems ranging from 500 kW to 100 MW, Xtreme Power technology is unique in its ability to provide power on demand through precision control and complex power capabilities (VARs), and the ability to time-shift large amounts of energy, all at a low life-cycle cost.
[Note from Jesse: Remember when I warned you a few weeks back that energy storage had snuck up on us? This company is a perfect example.]
Check back for more nominees for 2010’s Smart Grid companies to watch.