You knew it was only a matter of time, didn't you? Giant building automation technology player Honeywell has acquired Akuacom, one of the companies that has cropped up around the smart grid and demand response market opportunity.
The terms of the transaction aren't being made public, but Akuacom is focused on automating the delivery of pricing and status signals from out in the smart grid into a utility company or energy management company's information systems. The company's technology could play a key role in automating demand response applications -- this is one of the most active and practical of all the grid investments going on right now. Demand response systems help utility companies proactively manage periods of peak usage -- or ANTICIPATED peak usage. From the standpoint of an energy consumer, demand response is interesting because it lets a company get rewarded for helping its utility manage consumption more proactively.
Considering that Honeywell claims to have a presence in about 10 million commercial building and "thousands" of industrial plants, this seems like a pretty big coup for Akuacom. The play for Honeywell is that it now can help automate this process, linking demand response more closely back into the commercial buildings it serves. Honeywell says it already is one of the largest demand response service providers, helping give back more than 1 gigawatt of peak load -- the equivalent of the electricity generation capacity of 20 gas-fired peaking plants.