Florida, Carolinas getting $500M Smart Grid upgrade
U.S. Dept. of Energy awarded $200 million to Progress Energy to upgrade two electric utilities to a Smart Grid system.
Progress Energy is moving forward with its plan to spend $500 million to upgrade two of its electric utilities in Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina to a Smart Grid system.
Together the two utilities provide electricity service to more than 3.1 million customers. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company is paying for the upgrade in part with a $200 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE). The grant came out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and is part of the high-profile push by the Obama administration and many state leaders to upgrade U.S. electric grids.
Progress Energy plans to use IBM's WebSphere software platform as a tool to integrate distribution management and demand response systems. IBM has also been hired to help install and implement the systems in conjunction with Progress Energy.
IBM has run several pilot programs to test smart-grid systems in the past four years, including a consumer-level one in North Carolina in 2009 which found that on average, the introduction of smart-grid technology and smart meters cut electricity use by 15%.
In the case of Progress Energy, however, IBM's services will concentrate on equipment and system upgrades, analytics, and management that will enable the company's utilities to better control things like voltage levels, as well as electricity distribution across power lines.
IBM is one of a number of blue-chip companies getting into the smart-grid industry in recent years through software and services. Many of them have done so by buying smaller companies with existing technology, as is the case with Johnson Controls' purchase of EnergyConnect, Honeywell's purchase of Akuacom, and Siemens' acquisition of Site Controls.
- Edited by Bettina Chang, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, www.csemag.com
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.