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Red Hat, Green Energy Corp & Magpie - Open Source Smart Grid Plataform - Smart Grid Today


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Green Energy Corp partners with Magpie to develop software platform for open source Smart Grid apps

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Red Hat, Green Energy Corp & Magpie - Open Source Smart Grid Plataform - Smart Grid Today

  1. 1. Smart GridToday THE WORLDWIDE DAILY JOURNAL OF THE MODERN UTILITY INDUSTRY Wednesday, February 10, 2010 At big demo project, a desire to ‘forget the horse and buggy’ The biggest project under DOE’s smart at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory “We wanted to include issues grid demonstration project grants (PNNL), in Richland, Wash, told the important to us as a region,” he said. program detailed its plans Monday to commissioners during a two-hour But each utility will address only some Washington state’s utility commission, briefing. “Our personal bias is we have of those issues based on what is most answering some pointed questions about to get the consumer part of this thing important in the area it serves. costs and benefits and how to motivate done right. We’re very excited about the Commission approvals are not consumers to cut power use. The prospects for the region, which has a long needed before the project can get under Pacific Northwest project includes 12 history of innovation and leadership in way, commission policy advisor Steve utilities in five northwest states over five energy efficiency.” Johnson told us yesterday. “The purpose years. It won a grant of $88.8 million -- The ambitious project will try was just to keep the commission abreast the biggest of the 32 issued in November to manage peak demand, integrate of smart grid development.” (SGT, Nov-25). renewable energy sources, address Central to the project is a technology “The intent is to validate the costs constrained resources and improve still under development at project leader and benefits of the smart grid -- and system efficiency and reliability, Imhoff Battelle Memorial Institute: the value consumer response to it within the 12 explained to the Washington Utilities & signal, also called an incentive signal. utilities and also at a regional level,” Carl Transportation Commission (UTC) in the Every five to 15 minutes, a data stream Imhoff, electric-infrastructure manager state’s capital, Olympia. will be sent to each utility detailing the actual cost of power coming over the lines, based on constraints in its Take advantage of Smart Grid Today’s path. The signal would look different to each utility since each gets power from subscriber-only online tools different sources. And each utility would be free to use the data in whatever way it Did you know that a subscription to links to vendors, integrators, applications chooses. Smart Grid Today includes complete developers, trade groups, news sites, “One might use it to control load, online archive of searchable articles rulemakings, reports and more; another for a TOU pricing program,” and downloadable PDF issues; a private subscriber-only discounts on selected project leader Ron Nelson, a power discussion forum where you can intelligent utility industry information systems engineer at Battelle, told us make valuable connections with other resources, and more. Visit www. yesterday. “It could let a house make professionals in the intelligent utility to see for decisions on whether to heat water now world; a robust industry directory with yourself. or later based on power prices -- and it Continued on page two With new partner, Red Hat bringing ‘open source’ savvy to smart grid Open-source goliath Red Hat is jumping of years when that became a buzz phrase.” The tiny firm has an open-source code into the smart grid industry -- with Green GEC has worked with many large approach to the future market. Energy Corp (GEC) that is 100% focused IOUs including Duke and FPL and with “We’re developing a software on the smart grid, GEC CEO Peter independent power producers looking integration platform based on the Red Gregory told us yesterday. GEC maintains to provide renewable energy source Hat open source model and middleware a “library developed by brute force over generation technologies. In the latter case, software,” he said. “It’s not just a Linux many years of protocols and software for it provides expertise for grid integration operating system but we’re using their interoperability in a legacy environment,” and for grid interoperability. enterprise solution in an open-source Gregory said. GEC has been around in one Lastly, it targets large system format,” said Gregory. form or another for over 20 years and now integrators who need software support to “We’re using their open-source has 25 full-time employees and Red Hat is install and maintain system solutions for business model, which has been perfected well known for its popular version of the smart grid. Continued on page three Linux computer operating system, an open- source rival to Windows. “We were addressing this market as Smart Grid Today’s private, subscriber-only discussion forum information infrastructure for the grid,” is the place where you can make is the place where you can make valuable and have been working on applying digital contacts and connections -- ask questions, seek opinions and offer advice -- with technologies to the grid to improve its other utility industry professionals. To start a discussion, click the “comments” performance for years, Gregory said. “We link at the end of a story or visit began calling it smart grid in the last couple Copyright warning and notice: It is a violation of the federal copyright law to reproduce all or part of this publication by any means. The Copyright Act imposes liability of up to $150,000 per issue for such infringement. MMI Inc. relies heavily on the honesty of its subscribers and others, as our business depends upon respect for copyright. Any information regarding unauthorized distribution or copying will be appreciated and may be appropriately compensated in our discretion. Deeply discounted bulk memberships and limited reprint arrangements are available upon request. Please contact us at +1-301-769-6804 (888-471-4447 toll-free in US & Canada) or © 2010, MMI Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Smart Grid Today • 2 • Wednesday, February 10, 2010 At big demo project, a desire to ‘forget the horse and buggy’ From page one “In six months we’ll have a crisp The final six months will be spent inventory of how much is fast-responding evaluating results. Battelle will do most would review the house’s plans for power DR, like hot-water heaters, and how much is of the analysis, Imhoff reported. usage over the next 24 hours and send slower DR, like HVAC thermostat setbacks,” When the project is over, the back that information” for load planning. Imhoff said. “You’ll see a broad blend.” equipment will not simply be torn out, Battelle demonstrated an earlier Technology and other vendor partners said Mike Wedall, BPA’s vice president of version of the technology in a project include 3Tier, Areva USA, IBM, Netezza energy efficiency. The project is designed on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and QualityLogic. QualityLogic will to produce permanent improvements. (SGT, July-28). But this is a more refined work on interoperability testing and Assuming its benefits justify its costs, “we approach, Nelson said. evaluation. IBM will produce back-office think it’s important to set a foundation in “This is the research part, the new- software. 3Tier will contribute wind place. This is not pilots or demos of the technology part of the project,” he added. forecasts for hour-ahead and day-ahead past where we learned a lot but at the end, “This is not off-the-shelf techniques we’re predictions that could be blended into the it’s like, ‘Now how do I get this stuff out throwing in there. It’s exploratory.” incentive signal, Imhoff said. of my home or business and go back to life Bonneville Power Assn will lead the As for the project’s timeline, the next as I knew it?’” project’s outreach and educational efforts. six months will be devoted to making final “In the Olympic Peninsula project, we the design, he added, including detailed Power back on in seconds? realized most people don’t really want to specifications on how performance will Avista Utilities, of Pullman, Wash, focus on rate structures,” Imhoff said. “So be measured. Two years will be devoted was the sole utility at the briefing. Avista how do you keep it simple, make them feel to building out the new technology and plans to install devices to manage empowered, understand what’s in it for the next two years to running it. Some voltage to tighter tolerances, lower-loss them and how it’s part of the greater good?” 1,500 jobs will be created at the peak of transformers and switch capacitors to DR is part of the project, too. equipment installation. control reactive power flow, said Don Kopczynski, VP of operations. Those 4 stories in 2 minutes improvements will permit outages to be localized and power to be restored in one Georgia co-op to buy expansion, it told the press Monday. Two or two seconds rather than the 135 minutes new investors, Craton Equity Partners 150,000 Sensus meters: and Espírito Santo Ventures, led the latest it takes on average to do manually. North Georgia’s electric distribution round with 100% participation from Automated devices will be installed cooperative, Sawnee Electric existing investors. Petra Solar’s SunWave at the homes of 14,000 electric customers Membership Corporation, will install system generates power and “adds and 6,000 gas customers, allowing remote 150,000 smart meters by Sensus, of reliability to the distribution grid while interrogation and connect/disconnect. Raleigh, NC, and that firm’s FlexNet providing smart grid communications Schweitzer Engineering has agreed to Smart Grid system to provide real-time capabilities,” the firm said. let its Pullman manufacturing facility monitoring to its members, Sensus told be partly controlled, too, Kopczynski the press yesterday. The installation is said. The utility will create HANs using slated for completion by late 2012. PG&E faces tough ZigBee, which “seems to be the way the industry is leaning,” he added. crowd in Sebastopol: The BPA is developing a template for Carina Technology hires Sebastopol city council last Tuesday analyzing the business case for smart William Schrader as CEO: Jay heard a presentation by PG&E grid in the Pacific Northwest. It could be Newkirk stepped down as President representatives on the installation of used by any utility in the country to reach and CEO of Carina Technology and smart meters, drawing a large crowd clearer conclusions about whether a smart William Schrader was named as his of citizens who want to stop the roll- grid project is cost effective. successor, the provider of IP-enabled out, the Sonoma West Times & News “We hear a lot of promises for the smart grid solutions told the press reported. More than 20 people spoke smart grid but we have not seen the type yesterday. Newkirk will continue late into the night about the alleged ill of hard numbers we want to see,” he in his role as chairman of the board. effects of radio frequencies emitted by added. The move “marks the first phase of the meters, according to the account. an aggressive push to realign the PG&E representatives Katie Kerns and Is there a DR incentive? company’s resources to drive internal Andrew Tang gave a presentation that The absence of TOU pricing in efficiencies and to prepare for further “was not well received.” The smart grid Avista’s plans struck UTC chairman Jeff expansion in the market,” the firm is “a global initiative,” said Sebastopol Goltz as serious. “If your light goes on said. Schrader previously worked in resident Madison Baker. “Let’s be the and says ‘We’re having a power problem’ the commercial internet and services first city to say, ‘Hell, no, we won’t but the customer says ‘I’m paying the industry. go.’” EDITOR’S NOTE: Extended same for power now as at midnight,’ that’s testimony about radio emissions is different than if they say, ‘This will cost reminiscent of BPL hearings from a me another 50¢,’” Goltz said. New investors give few years ago but we haven’t made a “You hit one of the soft spots in our Petra Solar $40 million: Petra connection yet between the Sebastopol proposal,” replied Kopczynski. “We have Solar, a South Plainfield, NJ, maker meeting and the licensed amateur or to simulate that somehow.” of pole-mounted smart grid and solar “ham radio” community. Goltz also expressed concern over systems, raised $40 million in funding for [Comments] the non-scientific nature of the project, noting its absence of control groups, © 2010 MMI Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission prohibited.
  3. 3. Smart Grid Today • 3 • Wednesday, February 10, 2010 tightly controlled variables and other questions, asked, “Wouldn’t it be good aspects of well-designed experiments. to test horse-and-buggy technology in Has your organization “Utility people are not scientists,” Olympia? You might get more benefit Avista’s Kopczynski acknowledged. out of advanced technology but maybe been mentioned in “We’re not used to designing not enough to justify its cost.” Smart Grid Today? To find experiments.” PhD’s at Battelle and Wedall replied, “I’d say forget the out, visit www.smartgridtoday. Washington State University will do horse and buggy. New technology com/search to search through every that work, he added. lets people participate and not be article published since Smart Grid BPA’s Wedall related DR tales inconvenienced.” Giving customers a Today’s inception, plus related from his days at SMUD, “clipping free movie each month, he added, might articles from Smart Grid Today’s our summertime peak by 15% using motivate them to cut power use better sister publication, Restructuring horse-and-buggy technology. We had than cheaper prices during some parts Today. Accessing the full articles, agreements with C&I and if you didn’t of the day. and downloadable PDF issues; a whack ‘em too often, you could get 90 “People don’t have time to pay private discussion forum; a robust mw of load management on a really hot attention to that. They don’t understand industry directory; and other day.” it. But they understand a movie,” he subscriber-only online tools comes Goltz, who jokingly called said. free with your subscription. himself a heretic due to his skeptical [Comments] With new partner, Red Hat bringing ‘open source’ savvy to smart grid From page one two firms initially met through their that is essentially an augmentation to affiliation with the ERC at North GECs software development team, over a few years in four vertical markets Carolina State, Gregory said. processes and commercialization -- telecom, financial, health services Experience at GEC includes capability. It will immediately add “on and government services.” GEC is then applications in substation automation, the order of a dozen” people to GEC’s “bolting on interfaces to proprietary- energy management systems, load- development team. type systems and equipment and management systems, dynamic load Magpie came out of the telecom making that whole thing open source. reduction systems, solar power and industry and the deal with GEC And we’ll apply standards like IEC- control center systems. represents “a nice avenue for them to 61.850 and ICCP. We’ll apply those “We worked with them for a few expand” into the utility market, said standards in an open-source format onto months to set it up,” said Gregory. “We Gregory. In telecom, Magpie developed the middleware and will have a software helped them prepare their internal “a lot of code for interfacing and integration platform middleware that analysis to determine how to go after interoperability of multiple types of will be open source and will be able this market and we helped them get their systems and solutions and a package to to be marketed across the entire utility ducks in a row to be able to commit to transform technology to a newer, web- space.” enter this market,” said Gregory. Red based solution,” he added. GEC signed up as an independent Hat has “approved a very significant “What they did in the telecom software vendor in partnership with budget to market this,” and “it’s an industry is very similar to what we’re Red Hat, Gregory said. The firms are unlimited set of resources” for GEC, he looking to do in the utility industry,” set to jointly facilitate the interfacing added, noting that Red Hat committed to said Gregory. “Between Red Hat, which of legacy proprietary protocols in the working with GEC this month. also was involved heavily in the telecom utility environment and open-source Red Hat executives could not be industry, and these guys, there’s a lot middleware. Additionally, the pair will reached for comment yesterday. A search of experience in how you go about that work together to market strategic projects of the firm’s website turned up one news transformation in the marketplace.” such as those coming out of the National release, from November, about Toronto In the utility market, “we’re taking Science Foundation’s Engineering Hydro deploying Red Hat Enterprise an information infrastructure that’s very Research Center (ERC) for Future Linux as part of its smart meter program fragmented and very proprietary -- and Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and platform. is used to basically run and operate and Management (FREEDM) Systems at GEC is also set to work with maintain the real-time electricity grid -- North Carolina State University. Magpie TI, a Colorado-based provider and upgrade it,” Gregory said. “What we GEC is based in Denver, Colo, of software engineering services -- on need to do is build a USB-type platform and Raleigh, NC. Red Hat is based software development, Gregory said. for the electric grid so that new devices, in Raleigh, too, and execs from the Magpie is a software development firm applications, renewable technologies, tool sets can plug in to a middleware, an information infrastructure cloud, that Do you share Smart Grid Today? will let these systems interoperate.” In other words, he envisions a plug-and-play Unlike widely circulated newspapers, the exceptional product you’ve come to environment. magazines and free online publications, expect. Since you may not be familiar “In order to get this USB solution, we Smart Grid Today shuns paid advertising with today’s copyright laws, we have feel very, very strongly it has to be open in order to maintain our editorial compiled a list of what you legally can source,” Gregory said. “It’s a unique integrity. Each time Smart Grid Today and can’t do with Smart Grid Today, visit part of what we do now but as we do this, is photocopied or forwarded by email, for everyone’s going to have access to the it compromises our ability to deliver details. open source.” [Comments] © 2010 MMI Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission prohibited.
  4. 4. Smart Grid Today • 4 • Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Tell us what you think. We want to hear Smart Grid Today is published 247 times a year on business days by MMI Inc. at 4908 Hornbeam from you. Send your comments, complaints, Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20853-1475 USA, 888-980-4446 or +1-307-769-6903 by phone, +1-301- questions, news alerts and releases, 769-6917 by fax. Standard rate for a one-year subscription is $1,087 in US funds (plus 6% sales tax in Maryland). Significant discounts for bulk and corporate subscriptions are available, some that allow you annonymous tips plus your suggestions or to put our copyright-protected issues on your password-protected internal intranet site for others to see. questions about this issue of Smart Grid Sam Spencer, Editor, Publisher & CEO; Season Crawford, Vice President of Marketing, Associate Today to Publisher & Customer Service Director; Liz Yap, Production Director; Brett Brune, Senior Reporter; Dan Richman, Senior Reporter. Abbreviations: To see a glossary of Smart Grid Today’s abbreviations, go to © 2010 MMI Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission prohibited.