The smart meter market is expanding at an incredible rate, but researchers expect the growth to snowball — global smart meter installations are projected to double by 2016. Furthermore, vendors are gearing up to compete over an astronomical $66.3 billion in contracts across 35 emerging market countries by 2023. But that hasn't stopped companies from securing smart meter contracts right now. U.S.-based vendors are already striking deals at home and abroad, where there are increasingly more smart metering opportunities.
Here's a review of the big smart meter deals that have made headlines in 2013 so far:
1. LANDIS+GYR TO DELIVER RECORD-BREAKING METER ORDER TO INDIA
Who: Landis+Gyr and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL)
In January, WBSEDCL, an Indian utility looking to modernize its aging infrastructure, selected Landis+Gyr to deliver 1.5 million smart meters, believed to be the single largest electric meter order in India. The project is expected to be concluded by November 2013.
2. ECHELON NABS SMART METER ORDERS IN AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND
Who: Echelon, Ubitronix System Solutions GmbH, Kapsch, Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB) and Wien Energie Stromnetz GmbH (WES)
In March, Echelon announced it had been awarded two smart meter contracts in Austria and Switzerland. Following the success of a 25,000-meter deployment last year, IWB awarded Echelon with a follow-up order for 20,000 smart meters through Echelon's partner Ubitronix. Echelon's smart meters will enable IWBand its customers to track consumption data, remotely control load and integrate renewables. Similarly, Echelon was awarded a 1,400-unit pilot order for its advanced grid sensors from WES, the biggest utility in Austria with over 1 million customers, through its partner Kapsch. Echelon's technology, which has smart metering functionality, will be used to track consumption and protect grid data and communications. This is WES's first step towards meeting Austria goal of implementing smart meters in 95% of homes by 2019.
3. ITRON PICKED FOR 450K METER PROJECT IN INDIANA
Who: Itron and Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
At the end of January, Itron announced NIPSCO chose Itron to supply at least 450,000 smart meters, including the new Bridge Meter, and provide its automated meter reading (AMR) solution for mobile data collection. Itron's AMR solution enables NIPSCO to refine the meter reading process through remote meter readings which increase efficiency and cut costs.
4. ECHELON SNAGS METERING PILOT IN BRAZIL
Who: Echelon, ELO Sistemas Electronicos S.A. (ELO) and Cemig
Back in January, Echelon announced it had secured a 1,500 smart meter pilot in Cemig's City of the Future in Brazil through ELO, Echelon's partner. Due to Brazil's very high energy loss rates, Echelon's smart metering sub-systems supply ELO with the kind of comprehensive solution needed to communicate, track and control both modernized and out-of-date infrastructure. Cemig, the largest power company in Brazil, serves more than 7 million people and created the City of the Future as an experimental smart grid where infrastructure and technologies will be tweaked before more universal deployment.
5. ITRON TO SUPPLY SMART METERS TO GUYANA
Who: Itron, Tantalus and Guyana Power & Light (GP&L)
Seeking to bolster their electric grid for the long term, Guyana Power & Light selected Itron and Tantalus to provide their grid with smart meters and a communications network. The Tantalus-Itron partnership originated in 2011 when Itron and Tantalus struck a strategic alliance to marry Itron's Sentinel and Centron meters with the Tantalus Utility Network (TUNet), a communications network, to reach public utilities across North and South America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
6. ECHELON CHOSEN FOR SWEDISH METER PROJECT
Who: Echelon, Vattenfall, Gotland Energy, ABB, Swedish National Grid, Schneider Electric, Royal Institute of Technology and the Swedish Energy Agency
In February, Echelon announced it had been selected to provide its Edge Control Node, Control Operating System-based app platform and 3,000 advanced grid sensors, which have smart metering functionality, for the Smart Grid Gotland project in Sweden. Echelon's smart meters will provide two-way communications and monitor energy consumption, output, substations and power outages. The project will be completed in 2015.
7. NIGHTHAWK TO DEPLOY METERS IN SAIPAN
Who: Nighthawk and Commonwealth Utilities Corp. (CUC)
In February, Nighthawk announced it had been awarded a contract to deliver smart meters with Nighthawk's communications technology to Saipan's CUC. Due to the remote locations of some customers, CUC hopes Nighthawk's meters will boost service through its outage detection and voltage monitoring features while improving collections and cashflow through the implementation of a pre-pay plan.
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