Member spotlight 1.9.15: Wins for GE, Ooredoo and more (plus 3 smart people to watch)

Fri, 2015-01-09 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

Scroll down for short takes from Council members and a new section where we'll introduce smart people you should know about…

GE tapped for landmark project with Saudi Electricity
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) selected Council Lead Partner GE for a project that marks Saudi Arabia’s first integration of a solar field with a combined-cycle plant. The landmark initiative, the ‘Green Duba’ Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Plant, will be built in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, along the Red Sea coast, and has the capacity to generate the equivalent power needed to supply approximately 600,000 Saudi Arabia homes for a year. “This part of Saudi Arabia is a developing region with limited grid interconnection, so the additional power generated by the Green Duba project will be tremendously important in supporting growth,” said Eng. Ziyad M. Alshiha, president and CEO of SEC.

Ooredoo's bigger, faster network hits a milestone
Ooredoo's quest to become one of the best-connected countries in the world took a big step forward in December when it reached the 200,000 customer milestone in Qatar. The company says its achievement in providing Ooredoo Fibre – combined with the recent launch of its 4G Plus (Advanced LTE) – means that Ooredoo customers can stay connected to the fastest-available Internet at home and while moving across the country. According to the UN Broadband Commission, with 96.4% penetration, Qatar has the second highest percentage of household broadband of any developing country, after South Korea. Ooredoo is a Council Lead Partner.

Black & Veatch joins San Diego port project
Council Associate Partner Black & Veatch is providing its Asset360 analytics software for the Port of San Diego Smart City Initiatives demonstration project. The project will use real-time information on the port's energy use to save power and reduce costs. The port's Administration Building is the first in a series of public-private smart building initiatives aimed at improving the region's use of clean power. The Port is the landlord for 800 tenants and subtenants, creating an opportunity to collect and integrate energy information across hundreds of businesses. That information is pooled to reduce energy demand and cost-effectively purchase green energy. Black & Veatch is among five technology providers – including Council Associate Partner OSIsoft -- in providing sensors, software and other services to detect energy use.

Saudi Telecom and Arabsat launch satellite ground station
In addition to equipping Council Associate Partner Saudi Telecom (STC) with cutting-edge satellite technology, the project enables the telecommunication giant to meet the growing demand for its satellite telecommunication services from the government, business and other sectors. Officials with the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) said the new station will enhance the performance of Badr5, its newest and most advanced satellite.

Dr. Lawrence Jones is a noted thought leader in the smart grid space. He is also an executive at Alstom (a founding member of the Smart Cities Council). We asked if we could share a recent article of his from CIOReview Magazine because he makes points that are important for both city leaders and utility executives. The bad news: Our critical infrastructure is crumbling. The good news: We have a new generation of smaller, faster, cheaper technology with which to upgrade. How it will happen: For the next years, we will be managing "hybrid" infrastructure that includes both old and new equipment. The best way to move forward: Embed low-cost sensors into the legacy equipment. That way you will be getting essential data from both the old and the new gear. Why bother: With data from both old and new infrastructure, you can perform data analytics to achieve remarkable improvements.

Microsoft sustainability champion Rob Bernard is taking on a new challenge. As the company's first chief environmental strategist, he helped implement its global environmental strategy. Now his corporate sustainability team has joined forces with CityNext, Council Lead Partner Microsoft's smart cities initiative. “Cities generate around 80% of global economic output, and around 70% of global ­energy use and energy-related GHG emissions,” he explained in an OnWindows interview. “That is the current picture, but if you add the UN forecast that by 2050 70% of the world’s population will live in cities/urban areas -- an additional 2.3 billion more people than live in cities today -- it becomes very clear that the future of environmental sustainability is inextricably linked to the process of urbanization. How the world’s largest and fastest-growing cities develop will be critical to the future of sustainability and managing climate change.”

Stuart Cowan, Ph.D., takes Chief Scientist role with Smart Cities Council. And stay tuned; he's already working on some exciting city-focused projects. Cowan co-founded Autopoiesis LLC, which offers ecological design, integrated modeling, feasibility analysis and sustainable finance services for large-scale green development projects. Autopoiesis is one of six organizations leading the international Economics of Change initiative to transform real estate investment models to include a comprehensive range of ecological and social value layers. Cowan served as a transaction manager and founding team member with Portland Family of Funds, an innovative sustainable community investment fund. He also served as Conservation Economy Research Director at Ecotrust, where he led the development of the Reliable Prosperity framework for bioregional planning.