Partnership spurs smart grid development
Duke Energy and Cisco Systems will partner to speed the development of efficient smart grid technologies.
According to GreenBiz , Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy will work with network
communications company Cisco Systems Inc. to help speed development of an
electric smart grid for the power company and its 11 million customers. The third largest electric utility in the United States,
Duke Energy's three-year partnership with Cisco continues the utility company's
efforts to replace its electrical delivery infrastructure.
Duke Energy's current system uses analog technology and the
utility company will be replacing it with a smart grid system. The new system
will use two-way digital communication in order to reduce energy consumption;
boost energy efficiency and reliability; assist with diagnostic functions, such
as detecting outages; and integrate renewable energy sources into the new
The partnership also represents another effort by Cisco to
position itself as a provider of a range of smart grid tools that cover
residential to industrial use. In April, Cisco partnered with GE, Florida Power
& Light, Silver Springs Networks, and the city of Miami in a $200 million regional smart grid
project. In May, Cisco unveiled its new line of smart grid technology .
Duke Energy and Cisco will develop an "end-to-end, smart
grid communications architecture" that will be based on Internet-protocol
standards that will easily adapt to new communications technology. The two
companies will also work together and install home energy management devices to
help customers control and reduce electricity consumption, while providing
digital connection between customers and the utility.
Duke Energy will begin a five-year mass deployment of more
than 700,000 electric smart meters and 450,000 natural gas smart meters in Ohio later this year. Meanwhile,
Duke Energy is seeking approval the state Utility Regulatory Commission to install
extensive smart grid technology, which includes 800,000 smart meters. Duke
Energy is already in the process of bringing smart grid technology to its North Carolina, South Carolina,
customers. The company started deploying 70,000 smart electric meters and
40,000 digital gas meters in the Carolinas.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.