Honeywell acquires Akuacom; automated demand response for smart grid

Honeywell says it will acquire Akuacom, a U.S. firm that specializes in automated demand response technology and services for the smart grid.

Honeywell on Friday announced the acquisition of San Rafael, Calif.-based Akuacom, a firm that specializes in automated demand response technology and services for the smart grid.

Honeywell's interest in the company focuses primarily on its Demand Response Automation Server, which offers utilities and independent system operators two-way communication with energy management systems.

Akuacom's technology, which is based on the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) protocol, fully automates the process of telling commercial and industrial facilities when demand and prices are expected to jump.

That communication is important because it allows utilities and ISOs to:

  • Automate the delivery of price and reliability signals to commercial and industrial facilities.
  • More effectively trim peak demand.

That last part is key, because the last thing a utility wants is a brownout or blackout.

Utilities and ISOs use demand response to reduce consumption when electricity is expensive and they're overloaded with demand, such as during a hot summer when air conditioners are running full tilt.

If utilities and ISOs can control that energy consumption so they don't have to build additional power plants to handle peak demand, they can save money.

According to Honeywell, demand response is a factor in ushering in large-scale renewable energy adoption because it can absorb the variability that comes with solar, wind and other such sources.

In other words: a smarter, more secure, more reliable smart grid. (Hopefully.)

The deal makes perfect sense for Honeywell, a major multinational player in energy management and the smart grid. Same goes for Akuacom: the acquisition allows it to scale its technology considerably.

Honeywell says Akuacom will be integrated into its Building Solutions arm, which provides energy and utility services and building automation technology and support services.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com