Member spotlight 4.2.14: National Grid, Qualcomm, Bechtel, IBM, CH2M HILL, ABB, Schneider Electric, Opower

Wed, 2014-04-02 06:00 -- SCC Staff

Scroll down for this week's short takes from Council members...

San DiegoNational Grid provides smarter, more reliable energy in Worcester: Council Global Partner National Grid launched the technology phase of its Smart Energy Solutions Program in March and is now making new tools available to nearly 15,000 participating customers in Worcester, Mass. to provide better insight into their energy use and costs. The company also has upgraded more than 80% of the electric system associated with the program with new automation and infrastructure-enhancing devices to improve electric service reliability and power outage response. All grid-facing investments are expected to be completed and in service this summer. Get details >>

Qualcomm helps San Diego tout its smarts: A National Geographic TV series showcasing 18 smart cities around the world has selected San Diego as one it will highlight. Cities selected, which range from Abu Dhabi to Adelaide, Australia, have to come up with more than $1 million to help market the series. San Diego-based Qualcomm, a Council Global Partner, is among those who have agreed to help bankroll the effort, according to U-T San Diego. “We believe this is one of the most important things San Diego can accomplish in a while to move it forward on the world stage,” said San Diego Tourism Authority CEO Joe Terzi in the news report. Terzi assembled a coalition of local government entities and business leaders who committed to helping meet the fundraising goal. Learn more >>

Manitoba Hydro picks Bechtel for hydro project to promote sustainable growth: A team led by Council Global Partner Bechtel will build a hydroelectric power generating station on the lower Nelson River in northern Manitoba, Canada. The CAN $1.4 billion Keeyask Generating Station will have a 695-megawatt capacity and produce on average 4,400 gigawatt hours of electricity -- enough to power 400,000 homes. Bechtel has more than 80 years' global experience delivering some of the largest and most complex water and hydroelectric projects in the world. Read more >>

Norway's new tolling system will utilize multiple IBM technologies: The new tolling system, named AutoPASS Grindgut, is expected to process more than 470 million vehicle passages per year and $1.3 billion (U.S.) in road user charges. It draws on Council Global Partner IBM's extensive traffic system management experience, big data and analytics capabilities and mobile expertise. Data collection is based on automatic tag reading, or automatic license plate recognition software delivered as part of the new central system. Future services may include providing customers with real-time analysis on traffic flow, usage, transport trends and travel patterns, along with GPS-based tolling. Read more here >>

Also worth noting, Frost & Sullivan announced that IBM received its 2014 Global Visionary Innovation Leadership Award as Best-in-Class Smart City Integrator, recognizing its deep expertise in working with thousands of cities of all sizes on smart city initiatives.

Ultraviolet water disinfection facilityCH2M HILL work on ultraviolet disinfection facility wins "best" honors: New York City's ultraviolet water disinfection facility – the largest of its kind in the world – was selected by Engineering News-Record (ENR) as a 2013 “Best of the Best Project." Council Associate Partner CH2M HILL provided construction management services for the $1.3B project. Paul Whitener, CH2M HILL program director, said “The facility treats 2.2 billion gallons of water per day and delivers safe water to New York City and lower Westchester County’s 9 million residents. Working closely with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the entire design and construction team, we helped deliver a unique facility that is setting the standard for other water municipalities looking to incorporate UV technology into their treatment processes.” Get details >>

ABB's urban substations make good neighbors: With the growth of cities, new substations are increasingly being built in urban areas, so they must be designed to blend in with their surroundings and cause as little disturbance as possible. Size, silence and aesthetic appearance are becoming key considerations for these installations. A new 110/10.5kV substation near the Finnish capital, Helsinki, supplied by Council Associate Partner ABB, is a good example as it is located only eight meters from the nearest residential balcony. ABB took a number of steps to reduce the noise coming from the substation, for instance installing its transformers in a closed space. Learn more >>

ABB urban substationAnd on the topic substations, Council Associate Partner ABB and its consortium partner UK Power Networks Services won a contract worth around $145 million from Network Rail to upgrade one of Britain’s oldest and busiest railways. They will deliver more than 30 new traction substations. And in Sweden, ABB will supply three 400 kilovolt (kV) substations to help strengthen the country's power grid. “These substations will enhance grid reliability and transmission efficiency, facilitating the supply of quality power to consumers,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.

Schneider Electric and Opower target energy management for SMBs: Writing for Forbes, Heather Clancy highlights the recent launch of Schneider Electric's SmartStruxureLite building management technology aimed at small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) with facilities less than 100,000 square feet -- retail shops and health clinics, for example. Schneider Electric is a Council Associate Partner as is Opower, which also has added services for the SMB segment to its Opower 5 platform that utilizes behavioral science and data analytics to encourage smarter energy consumption. According to the article, SMBs are bigger energy users than one might expect. Read more >>

###

Get Smart Cities Now, our weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques. It's just one of the benefits you receive by joining the Smart Cities Council (and your membership is free).