DOE Selects Netezza for Smart Grid Project

April 7, 2010

The $178 million study is designed to expand existing electric infrastructure and test new combinations of devices, software, and advanced analytical tools that enhance the power grid’s reliability and performance.

RICHLAND, WA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a Pacific northwest team, including Netezza Corp. to conduct a regional smart grid demonstration project, designed to expand upon existing electric infrastructure and test new smart grid technology with up to 60,000 customers in five states.

The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project was the largest of 16 awards announced by DOE. The team combines energy providers, utilities, technology partners, and research organizations.

The total estimated cost for the project is $178 million. DOE will provide half the funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project's participants—utilities and industry team members, including Netezza—will provide the remaining investments.

The Northwest study will involve more than 60,000 metered customers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Using smart grid technologies, the study will test new combinations of devices, software, and advanced analytical tools that enhance the power grid's reliability and performance.

The Netezza TwinFin appliance will provide the infrastructure for data management, storage, and analysis for advanced analytics. The TwinFin appliance was chosen for its ability to efficiently manage massive data volumes generated by the smart grid meters and sensors, making it more accessible, analyzable, and action-ready within minutes of receipt. The TwinFin appliance enables advanced analytical information, including grid health, price fluctuation, energy consumption, risk identification, and fraud detection.

At its peak, the project could create about 1,500 total jobs in manufacturing, installation, and operating smart grid equipment, telecommunications networks, software, and controls in the five states; however specific numbers are not yet available.

"Netezza is grateful to be part of the Northwest team for the smart grid project. This is yet another example how the need for an advanced analytical solution is imperative across numerous industries," said Jeff Kidwell, Vice-President, Federal, Netezza. "Having worked closely with the DOE and several national labs and energy companies in the U.S., we are confident the Northwestern demonstration project will promote electrical grid advancement, helping the U.S. achieve its energy goals, including reduced energy consumption and cost savings."

The project team will install equipment and technology in 2010 and 2011. Then, for the next two to three years, project leaders will gather and analyze data on smart grid performance from 15 test sites that represent the region's diverse terrain, weather, and demographics. The test sites range from Fox Island in Washington State's Puget Sound to the Teton Mountains in western Wyoming, and include the campuses at the University of Washington and Washington State University.

The project will involve more than 112 megawatts of power, enough to serve 86,000 households.

In 2006, the region participated in the DOE-funded Pacific Northwest GridWise Demonstration Project on the Olympic Peninsula. The project was designed to test and speed adoption of new smart grid technologies that can make the power grid more resilient and efficient. The study showed that advanced technologies enabled consumers to be active participants in improving power grid efficiency and reliability while saving about 10% on their electricity bills in the process. The new project builds on those results, expanding the scale of the effort and introducing additional technologies.

Smart grid technology includes everything from interactive appliances in homes to substation automation and sensors on transmission lines. It is a system that uses various technologies to improve power delivery and use through intelligent, two-way communication. Generators of electricity, suppliers, and users are all part of the equation. With increased communication and information, smart grid technology enables real-time monitoring of electric energy use, exchange of data about supply and demand, and adjustments of power use to changing load requirements.

About Netezza
Netezza Corp. is a global leader in data warehouse, analytic, and monitoring appliances that dramatically simplify high-performance analytics across an extended enterprise. Netezza's technology enables organizations to process enormous amounts of captured data at exceptional speed, providing a significant competitive and operational advantage in today's data-intensive industries, including digital media, energy, financial services, government, health and life sciences, retail and telecommunications. Netezza is headquartered in Marlborough, MA, and has offices in northern Virginia, the UK, Germany, France, Poland, Japan, Korea, Australia, and Singapore.

Netezza, TwinFin, and the Netezza logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Netezza Corp. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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