China,  Japan,  India,  Russia

China’s Leading Smart Meter Supplier, Holley Metering, Wins New Customers Based Upon Echelon Technology

Echelon Holley Receives China State Grid Approval; Inner Mongolia and Fuping Pilots Reinforce the Value of Echelon’s Differentiated Energy Control Networking Platform

Monday, October 8, 2012 5:08 am PDT

Dateline: SAN JOSE, Calif.

“With China State Grid approval and pilot underway, Echelon Holley is making significant strides in the Chinese smart grid market”

Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON), a global leader in energy control networking for smart grid, smart city and smart building applications, today announced that it reached a significant milestone in a key targeted growth region, China. Echelon’s power line communications (PLC) technology and Control Operating System (COS) powered data concentrator module have been granted China State Grid approval through its joint venture, Zhejiang Echelon Holley Technology Co., Ltd. The joint venture has also received from Holley Metering Limited its first order for meter modules that incorporate Echelon’s PLC technology for use in a 30,000 smart meter pilot deployment in Inner Mongolia and been selected for a pilot in Fuping county, located in the Shanxi province. These two projects represent significant opportunities for the partnership; Inner Mongolia is expected to add 10 million new smart meters over the next five years and the Shanxi province is targeting 10 million new smart meters over the next three years.

The Inner Mongolia project started three years ago with other PLC technologies but, based upon the reputation of Echelon’s PLC technology, Inner Mongolia has selected Echelon for this 30,000 unit deployment now that the Echelon Holley joint venture’s meter module that incorporates Echelon’s PLC technology has received State Grid certification. When the deployment is completed in January 2013, the utility has plans to expand to a larger scale.

The Fuping pilot is being managed by the local utility, part of the Shanxi provincial utility. The 1,000 meter pilot using Echelon PLC technology has delivered nearly a 100% read rate. Many more meters using the Echelon Holley joint venture communications modules will be installed over the next few months to expand this pilot. If the Fuping pilot performs well, it could expand to other cities or counties in the Shanxi province that are services by the Shanxi utility.

In addition to the Inner Mongolia and Fuping projects, the Echelon Holley joint venture has also sold its communications modules that incorporate Echelon technology for use in 11,000 smart meters in smaller pilot projects at 10 sites in five provinces.

“Echelon’s strategy of bringing our Energy Control Networking platform to China via our joint venture and local smart grid partners is starting to show results,” said Ron Sege, chairman and CEO of Echelon. “This is part of our company’s strategy to target growing markets and lay the groundwork for selling multi-application edge-of-the-grid solutions around the globe with great local partners such as Holley Metering.”

State-owned China State Grid Corporation, the world’s largest grid operator and power distributor, has outlined and is aggressively delivering on its five year plan to upgrade China’s electricity grid. State Grid promises reliability of no less than 99.9% and on-site response within 45 minutes to repair service in urban areas. To reach these goals, they created a rigorous suite of tests that vendors must pass in order to participate in the future State Grid project to upgrade its 120 million meter market over the next three years.

“With China State Grid approval and pilot underway, Echelon Holley is making significant strides in the Chinese smart grid market,” said Jin Meixing, chairman of Holley Metering, a leading smart metering company in China.

Visit the Smart Energy Blog by Echelon.


China smart grid initiative launched

Source:      Date: 2009-04-21       The China Smart Grid Cooperative aimed at bringing together smart grid experts from across the world to work closely with China’s two utilities and key influencers to jointly define a smart grid for the country has been launched by the Joint US-China Cooperation for Clean Energy (JUCCCE).

The initial goals of the Cooperative are to stimulate interest in smart grid planning in China with key Chinese leaders, to create a feasibility study of the financial, policy and technical requirements of a smart grid in China, and to catalyze a regional smart grid pilot.

The Cooperative will also investigate how a smart grid rollout in China will be different from elsewhere, and what resources are available to help accelerate the implementation.

Hu Xuehao of the China Electric Power Research Institute points out that there are many differences between China and the West. “In western countries the emphasis is on the distribution grid, while in China the current emphasis is on the transmission grid. In theU.S., Europe and Japan, solar panels are installed on rooftops, while in China solar farms will be installed mainly in desert areas,” Xuehao says.

China also has the potential to be at the forefront of smart grid technology developments, comments Jim Rogers, chairman of Duke Energy and JUCCCE Honorary Committee member. “The scale at which China is deploying means that China can single-handedly help set the worldwide smart grid communications standard early on.”

ML Chan, China executive director of the Smart Grid Cooperative, adds that China represents one of the largest revenue opportunities in the world for smart grid technology and service companies. “The current financial crisis has companies scrambling to stay afloat and international vendors can expect to benefit greatly if China’s utilities put the smart grid on their agenda,” says Chan.

The first JUCCCE Smart Grid Cooperative meeting was held on November 12 following the JUCCCE China Energy Forum in Beijing.

The non profit organization has also opened a San Francisco office, which is headed by Leslie Katz, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and regional vice president of regulatory affairs at Sempra Energy.

The development of a smart transmission grid in China is also expected to be given a boost from the recent US$586 billion stimulus plan approved by the Chinese government. While the plan is aimed at spurring economic growth through large scale investment in low income housing, water, rural infrastructure and electricity, it is also expected to lead to increased investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as other energy conservation measures, including a smart grid.

Sourcing From METERING, November 19, 2008


China to announce massive smart meter & grid project

Monday, 01 June 2009 00:44

China has begun a massive smart grid project that will transform how the country generates and uses energy.  The power infrastructure will be brought into the digital age in ways that enhance efficiency and secure the entire power grid.“A smart grid is an inevitable choice for China to address issues in its power industry and develop a lower-carbon economy,” said Jiao Jian, an analyst at SYWG Research and Consulting.  SYWG is the research arm of the Chinese brokerage Shenyin & Wanguo Securities.Just like their American counterparts, the Chinese will begin by developing standards that can be adopted throughout China.  The goal is to complete the smart grid project in 2020, according to Liu Zhenya, president of the State Grid Corporation of China, the largest power distributor in the country.The smart grid proposals will certainly increase Chinese investment in its power industry.  For years the sector has suffered from lacklustre funding that resulting in blackouts and the infamous infrastructure collapse during the snow storms in 2008.The Chinese power grid is currently made up of 1.18 million kilometres of old transmission lines that carry around 3 million gigawatts of electricity throughout the country.  Almost 7 percent of that amount is lost from inefficient power transfer.  At the same time the demand for power in the country is expected to double by the year 2020.


Utility Suppliers Eye Smart Meter Introduction in Japan

Apr 27, 2009 16:53 Hiroki Yomogita, Nikkei Electronics

Approaches toward the introduction of “smart meters,” upgraded gas, water and electricity meters used for remote reading, etc, have become increasingly active in Japan.

Firms including Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Osaka Gas Co Ltd, Toho Gas Co Ltd and NTT Corp will embark on creating a communication standard for the remote reading of various kinds of meters. About 150 employees from gas suppliers and device manufacturers participated in the ‘Ubiquitous Metering Forum’ in Tokyo April 24, 2009.

Connecting various meters with wide-area and relay wireless adapters, for example, the smart meter technology enables the wireless reading of the meters using multi-hop connection and other technologies. Smart meters employ low power wireless communication technologies so that they can run for about ten years with batteries.

The forum’s secretariat aims at standardizing the relay radio technologies used for smart meters as well as the interface used to connect various meters and wireless adapters. To meet these goal, the secretariat intends to ally with gas suppliers, waterworks bureaus and manufacturers.

In addition to Tokyo Gas and Osaka Gas, electric power suppliers such as Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc, the Kansai Electric Power Co Inc and Chubu Electric Power Co Inc as well as Yokohama Waterworks Bureau and Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Waterworks were invited to the forum.

This time, the secretariat proposed the “Ubiquitous Metering System,” which consists of the following three elements. They are (1) “wide-area ubiquitous terminals,” adapters equipped with wide-area wireless capabilities, (2) “multistage relay wireless terminals,” adapters that relay data via multiple meters like a bucket brigade and (3) “meters equipped with a next-generation communication interface,” which can be connected to various adapters.

The 280MHz band radio technology, which NTT is currently verifying, and the 950MHz band radio technology are expected to be used for wide-area and relay wireless networks, respectively.

Gas and water meters will need to support the next-generation communication interface to connect to those wireless adapters. The specifications of the interface have been different depending on the application of meter such as utility gas and LP gas. But Tokyo Gas is considering standardizing them, taking advantage of the introduction of the smart meters.

If the different interfaces used by gas, water and electricity meters are standardized, the price of adapter terminals can lower because utility suppliers will be able to share the same wireless adapters. As for the similar concept of remotely reading meter values using multi-hop connection, Kansai Electric Power already announced that it would start verification tests.

Among those technologies, the forum secretariat is considering internationally standardizing the communication technology used by multistage relay radio terminals. For that purpose, it is planning to propose the technology to the “TG4g,” a working group under the IEEE802.15 standards committee in the US.

Also, the forum secretariat revealed that the TG4g Chairman Phil Beecher is participating in the forum and promoting standardization of 4g, aiming to finish formulating it in June 2011. Furthermore, the secretariat will promote the standardization of the next-generation communication interface in collaboration with the LP Gas IT Promotion Council, the Japan Gas Association and the High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan, etc, it said.

At the end of the forum, Yoshiya Hayashi, deputy director of the Land Mobile Communications Division in the Radio Department of the Telecommunications Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), delivered a speech.

Referring to the method that the forum is formulating, he said, “It will definitely become the next-generation infrastructure. The ministry will help in terms of radio frequency policies,” indicating the government’s plan to indirectly support the standardization.


Smart meter project launched in India

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Grinpal Energy Management, the energy-producing arm of Saab Grintek, has begun deploying smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure in New Delhi, India.  Saab Grintek is a technology firm headquartered out of South Africa.

Saab Grintek is a diverse technology firm specializing in enterprise solutions, energy management, aviation systems, communications intelligence, and global connectivity.  The company has developed partnerships with governments and other organizations throughout Africa and the world.

The first deployment began in the Tata area, where Grinpal hopes to have 500,000 installations complete by 2010.  Phumudzo Magidi, Managing Director for Grinpal, says it has taken some time to familiarize Indian power distributors with the prepaid smart meter system that his company is introducing.  This education process has taken nearly two years.

“Negotiations started in 2005, and the agreement was signed in November 2006 with the final contract agreed upon in December 2007.  The Indian government needed clarity on the prepaid system because India uses the post paid meter system; Grinpal had to introduce the system from the beginning and also prove that the system will enable India to manage their energy wisely,” Magidi said.

The new smart meters will provide Indian consumers with information regarding energy consumption that was not previously available with a traditional meter.  The prepayment system will allow the easy disconnection of defaulted customers and power connections from a remote site.  The new smart system is also able to instantly detect tampering with the power lines and sends signals to security personnel if necessary.  Utility employees will also have the ability to change a customer’s billing method from pre paid to post paid in a matter of seconds, without having to physically visit the meter.

The new smart grid will also give Indian power providers with load managing options.  Hot water can be turned off for a single ratepayer or for an entire community or hard limits can be placed for individual consumers or consumer groups.  Sometimes these limits are necessary in Indian communities where extremely rapid development has occurred and the local power grid cannot keep up with aggregate demand for power.

“The smart metering system comes with a load limiter.  This mechanism sends a command to every energy user to reduce electricity usage when the demand for energy gets out of control,” explains Magidi.

The new smart system helps protect Indian consumers from power shutoffs by sending text messages to a cell phone or the in-home display on the smart meter.  The smart meter makes a buzzing sound to let a ratepayer know that the utility company has sent a message.  This same process will be used to notify consumers that some drastic load shedding or a power outage is scheduled.

Grinpal has targeted the whole of India and the entire Middle East as potential customers for this new smart meter system.  At the same time, the company is targeting its home country for an increased customer base.  South Africa is another country where load balancing and scheduled power outages are commonplace.

“We are looking at having a long term relationship with India and other parts of the world because we believe that this system will help curb the energy crisis that is currently being faced by a lot of countries,” Magidi added.

In the joint Indian effort, Indian firm EMCO will perform the smart meter installation, while Grinpal supplies technological support.  “We will be working closely with EMCO to ensure that everything goes according to plan.  It was also important for us to partner with a local company and ensure that the services provided are of high quality because our plan is to grow our market size in the Indian republic with this new energy saving and revenue protection mechanism,” said Magidi.


Russia’s Federal Grid Company to develop smart grid

Moscow, Russia — (METERING.COM) — June 21, 2010

Russia’s Federal Grid Company is setting out plans to develop a smart grid, including a significant increase in its investment in infrastructure over the next three to five years.

The company, which owns and operates Russia’s 73,350 mile power grid, previously announced a plan to invest around €12 billion in the period 2010 to 2012 in the development of the grid, including construction of an additional 5,200 miles of transmission lines and 29,000 MVA of installed transformer capacity.

In the Moscow Times last week, Federal Grid Company CEO Oleg Budargin was quoted as saying that the company is seeking approval to add 400 billion rubles (€10.4 billion) to its investment program, to bring the total investment to 919 billion rubles (€23.9 billion) over the next five years.

“We haven’t missed the smart grid train yet,” Budargin was quoted as saying, adding that the upgrade of the grid could reduce electricity losses by 25 percent and save as much as 35 billion kWh of power with a value of more than €1.3 billion per year.

The company has also recently signed three agreements to advance its smart grid agenda.

In a strategic cooperation agreement with Siemens AG, the company will implement new technologies including low loss high voltage DC transmission on its networks.

In an agreement with Li-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, new opportunities will be investigated to use high performance battery systems to improve the reliability and performance of the Russian electricity system.

Finally an agreement has been signed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), under which the Bank – which has directly invested over €1 billion and mobilized additional investments of €2 billion in the Russian power sector in the last nine years – will consider new investments which will contribute towards making the network more energy efficient.

Smart grids and energy efficiency also are part of the focus of the U.S.-Russia energy and environment working group under the Bilateral Presidential Commission formed last year by President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev. That group, co-chaired by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, will hold its next meeting in Washington, DC in July.

The Federal Grid Company was formed in 2002 in a reorganization of Russia’s national electric power industry, and is approximately 78 percent owned by the Russian federal government.