Smart Grid

February 11, 2013

Echelon to Support Smart Grid Project on Sweden's Gotland Island

San Jose, California-based Echelon Corporation, a developer of embedded monitoring and control technology, has been selected to participate in Smart Grid Gotland—a large-scale, pioneering smart grid and distributed energy technology demonstration on the 11-square-mile island of Gotland. The island is located about 60 miles off the shore of Sweden, in the Baltic Sea, and has a resident population of about 57,000.

In addition to Echelon, Smart Grid Gotland represents a joint venture among Vattenfall, Gotland Energy, ABB, Swedish National Grid, Schneider Electric (News - Alert), and Royal Institute of Technology. It has been partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.

The project is intended to showcase how new smart grid technologies can improve the electrical quality of large rural grids by utilizing large quantities of distributed power generation and advanced load management strategies. Echelon was selected based upon its smart meter technology, which will increase overall grid quality, efficiency and reliability; as well as integration and management of renewable energy sources.

In a “subtest” to be conducted next fall, energy pricing will be based on current wind power production on Gotland and announced to customers by use of price signals. The customers will get an indication of whether the price is high or low via a smart energy box and—on the strength of the data—will be able to decide whether to use energy-intensive applications during times of peak pricing.

As part of the project, Echelon smart meters will provide hourly meter reading; two-way communication for surveillance of the low voltage grid for power quality and power outage data; substation monitoring; measurement of energy fed into the grid; interface to a distribution management system/supervisory control and data acquisition (DMS/SCADA) system; interface to a customer web-portal; and interface to a home area network (HAN).In addition, Echelon will provide its Edge Control Node, its Control Operating System (COS)-based application platform; as well as 3,000 advanced grid sensors, which also provide smart metering functionality. The Edge Control Node (ECN) bridges low- and medium-voltage distribution systems and connects commercial, consumer, and utility smart grid devices to the wide area network (WAN).  The Control Operating System (COS), which is a central element of Echelon’s energy control networking platform, unifies the many devices, networks and systems involved with energy supply and demand.

"The Smart Grid Gotland project is the perfect way to showcase how a utility with a clear plan for the future can trial new grid applications and quickly reap meaningful benefits for its customers," said Michael Anderson (News - Alert), senior vice president, Worldwide Markets, at Echelon, in a statement. "Echelon is excited to play an important role in this project to help modernize Sweden's grid and integrate new applications that will improve grid reliability, efficiency, and performance."The Smart Grid Gotland project began in the fall of 2012 and will run until 2015.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli