Cisco's accelerating smart grid momentum

Cisco has been at the center of several developments related to the smart grid this week, including a request for federal funds related to a project being spearheaded by the city of San Jose and local utility company PG&E.Like IBM, which earlier this week announced a solution architecture framework for utility companies working on smart grid projects, Cisco is formally creating what it is calling an end-to-end Smart Grid Ecosystem.

Cisco has been at the center of several developments related to the smart grid this week, including a request for federal funds related to a project being spearheaded by the city of San Jose and local utility company PG&E.

Like IBM, which earlier this week announced a solution architecture framework for utility companies working on smart grid projects, Cisco is formally creating what it is calling an end-to-end Smart Grid Ecosystem. By the way, it should not escape your notice that Cisco and IBM were the two major technology vendors mentioned as part of a smart grid federal stimulus funding request that is being submitted by PG&E and a bunch of local Silicon Valley communities, notably San Jose. There is money out there in these projects and IBM and Cisco are seeking to attach themselves to as many as they possibly can.

Cisco's ecosystem program includes VARs and systems integrators like Accenture, Capgemini, Coleman Technologies, Infosys Technologies, OATI and World Wide Technology; technology vendors such as AeroScout (which develops wireless asset tracking systems), EMC (no intro necessary), Landis&Gyr, Pulse Energy, Schneider Electric; power and utility integrators such as Areva T&D; service providers like Verizon and all manner of smart grid players like Itron, OSIsoft and so on. There are others too numerous to list.

Cisco has also formed a technical advisory committee that includes utility and energy companies that can help guide its future innovation in smart grid technology.

And, it is involved in a number of smart grid standards efforts. Its latest involvement is with the ZigBee Alliance; Cisco will be involved with defining the Smart Energy public application profile.

Some of Cisco's smart grid pilots include work with the following:

  • Enmax, which is looking to integrate information about renewable energy sources and also to bolster system security
  • YelloStrom, which is designing and end-to-end infrastructure for home energy management in Germany
  • FPL, which is monitoring millions of customers via smart meters
  • Duke Energy, which is looking to build out an entirely new philosophy for energy delivery

Here's a list where more of Cisco's current Smart Grid Ecosystem partners are all listed. This link will lead to a video of the company's general manager for smart grid strategy, Marthin de Beer, who shares some thoughts about Cisco's intentions.