Bright IdeasPower conservation is a hot topic since the transformation of our power grids to achieve greater energy efficiency and improve service reliability. The theme seems to be reducing operations and maintenance costs, decreasing the impact on the environment, and increasing reliability for customers which means less costly power outages. These tasks may seem daunting but companies such as GE, ABB, and Full Spectrum are tackling them.
- GE's Power Conservation business, known for delivering advanced motor, drive, and control technologies, has been awarded new contracts for orders of electric power worth around $80 million in the last six months (including liquid natural gas carriers and a Floating Storage Regasification unit). They focus on simplistic technology to increase reliability and lower maintenance costs, resulting in a lower life-cycle cost of ownership.
- ABB, a leading global supplier of solar inverters, is acquiring Power-One in order to create value for customers, employees, and shareholders. Solar inverters are one of the fastest-developing innovative technologies in power electronics and the combination of these two successful companies will create substantial growth.
- Full Spectrum announced a new version of its wireless communications software designed to reduce the impact of power outages. The self-healing smart grid is especially important for industrial and commercial power users such as hospital complexes who rely on electricity for life support equipment. Power outages can cost the economy billions of dollars annually and new technologies will decrease this impact.
- 'Energy Smart Florida' is an example of how states are benefiting from advanced smart grid networks. The Florida Power and Light Company successfully continues to deliver long-term innovation to their customers, enabling a multitude of smart energy services for use and increasing reliability, reducing operation costs, and lowering maintenance costs.
- Mitsubishi Electric Transformer Factory opened in Memphis occupying nearly 100 acres in the Rivergate Industrial Park. The facility is a reliable energy infrastructure that significantly increased transformer manufacturing capacity. The new factory will be able to produce more than one large transformer each week and is capable of producing the largest power transformers in the world. The Memphis economy will benefit from the job growth due to the factory.
- Old Dominion Electric Cooperative announced approval for the construction of a natural gas fueled electric generation facility in Maryland that will provide environmentally balanced and reliable electricity. It will also create jobs and a steady source of revenue for Cecil County by replacing electricity bought on the market with a cost-effective source of locally produced electricity. An aging power plant fleet will be revamped.
- Canadian company Prolucid LocalGrid Technologies partnered with National Instruments funded by grants from Canada's ecoENERGY Initiative to distribute intelligence technology and manage renewable energy generated by the community onto the power grid. The effects will include reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reliability and efficiency across the electric power system. The LocalGrid is addressing the challenge of clean energy incentives; alternative sources of energy such as solar panels and wind turbines generate more power than the existing infrastructure can handle, so valuable electricity is wasted.
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