Member spotlight 2.26.14: Itron, MasterCard, S&C Electric, IBM, MTA, ACEEE

Wed, 2014-02-26 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

Short takes spotlighting Smart Cities Council Partners and Advisors…

Itron simplifies smart grid and AMI deployments: If smarter water, electricity or gas is on your city's to-do list, you'll be interested in a new offering from Council Lead Partner Itron that takes its existing industry-leading capabilities in metering, communications, data management, analysis and professional services, and packages them all together in a simplified, subscription-based pricing structure with complete managed services. The Itron TOTAL multi-commodity offering is available across electric, gas and water solutions in North America.

MasterCard pilots smarter payment option for travelers: With so many cities relying on tourists to help boost their local economies, it's worth noting that Council Lead partner MasterCard is currently in pilot phase for an opt-in service that aims to reduce consumers’ frustrations associated with having their payment cards used without their knowledge or having their own transactions unnecessarily declined when trying to make purchases in another country. The service MasterCard is piloting with Syniverse will enable card transactions for users only when they have their mobile device switched on in a specific geolocation abroad.

S&C energy storage system minimizing B.C. power outages: Field, British Columbia is a remote mountain community that relies on a single 55-km overhead distribution line to deliver power from a substation in Golden, B.C. to the town. In the mountainous terrain, heavy forestation, difficult access and adverse climate conditions result in frequent faults affecting reliability. The  PureWave SMS Storage Management System from Council Lead Partner S&D Electric Co. is alleviating this problem by automatically transferring Field's electric load to battery power when the electric grid is disrupted. This energy storage project is the first of its kind in Canada. It stores clean energy produced by BC Hydro to meet the area's electricity demands while also reducing system load during periods of peak demand.

IBM and AT&T eye new solutions for city governments: Council Lead Partner IBM says it will collaborate with AT&T to integrate and analyze vast quantities of data from city and utility assets -- mass transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras, for example -- to help cites better evaluate patterns and trends to improve urban planning and utilities to better manage their equipment to reduce costs. “Smarter cities, cars, homes, machines and consumer devices will drive the growth of the Internet of Things along with the infrastructure that goes with them, unleashing a wave of new possibilities for data gathering, predictive analytics, and automation,” said Rick Qualman, an IBM VP.

MTA expands cell phone and Wi-Fi connectivity in Manhattan: Partnering with Transit Wireless, New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) enters phase two of its connectivity initiative that will eventually bring cell phone and Wi-Fi service to all 277 of its subway stations across the city. When this phase is done, the New York Daily News reports, some 250 million riders with cellular service on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon will be able to stay connected. They will have service on platforms, mezzanines and in some areas of underground stations, but not on trains rumbling between stations. But that may come too. MTA, a Council Advisor, operates the largest transit network in North America.

ACEEE points to energy efficiency as factor in electricity use decline: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), has just completed an analysis on electricity-use trends since 1993, looking at changes in sales over the 2007-2012 period in particular. The Council Advisor determined that in the more recent period of 2007-2012, savings resulting from energy efficiency programs and policies, and from warmer winter weather, appear to be the most important contributors to declining electricity use in the residential and commercial sectors. ACEEE says the finding is consistent with the ramp-up of energy efficiency savings achieved from utility-sector energy efficiency programs, and from appliance and equipment efficiency standards that have taken effect since 2007.