Business Model Innovation: Smart Grid & Energy Management


Gold MedalSchneider Electric (Rueil Malmaison, France) for continuing to leverage its broad energy management expertise in areas ranging from low to medium-voltage equipment, residential, industrial, and commercial energy management systems, and electric vehicle charging solutions to enable the smart grid and provide valuable services to improve grid reliability and energy efficiency.

Schneider Electric's December 2012 completion of the Telvent brand integration, the company has combined its global expertise in control and automation hardware with Telvent's industry leading Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) to create smarter electrical grids that allow utilities and consumers to maximize peak demand management and the use of renewable energy sources to help meet growing energy demands.

Additionally, Schneider Electric's partnership with IPKeys Technologies, announced October 2012, demonstrates the company's leadership in demand response. Through this partnership, Schneider Electric and IPKeys will deliver a fully Automated Demand Response (ADR) and Energy Management Information System (EMIS) solution for utilities' and commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. IPKey's EISS technology integrates with Schneider Electric's StruxureWare software at the control level, providing C&I customers with a robust, flexible, and cost effective method of connecting to the smart grid and maximizing the demand response potential of their facilities, according to the company.

Silver MedalSAIC (Mclean, Va.) for achieving continuing market penetration for its Smart Grid as a Service (SGS) business model that allows public power utilities to implement a comprehensive smart grid solution without major upfront capital investment. Instead of investing heavily in smart meters and other automated metering infrastructure, plus staff development to implement it, SGS customers pay on a per-meter, per-month basis. As SAIC points out, the smart grid rollout has been predominantly led by investor-owned utilities with public- and community-owned utilities-a segment SAIC estimates serves 46 million Americans-generally behind the curve.

SAIC launched SGS in late 2011 and had several successes in 2012, including implementing the first SGS project in four remote Alaskan villages. By better integrating wind power, the SGS system is expected to reduce their dependence on expensive and hard-to-access diesel fuel.

SAIC also signed and began work on a 10-year contract with United Power for a 10,000 meter SGS pilot project. United Power is a rural electric cooperative providing electric service to nearly 70,000 homes and businesses in Colorado's northern Front Range. United Power CEO Ron Asche said in a statement that SAIC's "comprehensive, affordable, and integrated one-stop resource … enables our organization to better manage the risks associated with implementation of this advanced technology." As part of the project, SAIC is assisting United Power to refine its business processes and drive culture change necessary to make full use of the system's capabilities, including outage alerts, remote connection capabilities and the capability for enhanced integration of alternative energy metering such as time of use and net metering.