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US tech firm forms smart grid solutions business

Honeywell expands into smart grids as work continues on China first project

Honeywell’s smart grid solutions business has been formed
Honeywell’s smart grid solutions business has been formed to address growing energy demands

A US technology firm has formed a smart grid solutions business to address growing energy demands. Honeywell has announced the formation of Smart Grid Solutions, a global enterprise that centralises the company's existing smart grid resources and expertise to respond to the growing needs of both energy providers and users. The news comes as the company continues to work on a first time smart grids project in China.

The Smart Grid Solutions unit aims to bring innovative offerings to market faster, and deliver end-to-end programmes that connect utilities and their customers to solve a variety of energy challenges, such as relieving stress and congestion on aging electrical infrastructure, leveraging intermittent renewable resources, and better managing the increased demand for energy, which is expected to grow 40 per cent by 2035.

Meanwhile, Honeywell is currently working with the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) to implement China's first smart grid demand response project.

As part of the project, Honeywell is installing its automated demand response (Auto DR) technology at select buildings within Tianjin, including government, commercial and industrial facilities. This will allow TEDA and network operator State Grid Corporation of China to automatically adjust energy use to reduce demand on the electrical grid, helping avoid potential brownouts and blackouts. Similar projects are underway in Australia, India, the UK and the US.

China is expected to spend USD 1.5tr on its energy infrastructure during the 12th Five-Year Guideline period ending in 2015, with the long-term goal of having a dynamic smart grid throughout the country by 2020.

The creation of Smart Grid Solutions is a strategic reflection of the anticipated rise in worldwide energy consumption and the corresponding need for demand-side-management services. According to a recent report from Pike Research, revenue for demand response services in particular will grow from nearly USD 1.3bn last year to USD 6.1bn by 2016, with load-curtailment services representing nearly two-thirds of the total opportunity.

"Honeywell has a long history helping balance supply and demand through turnkey programs that provide benefits for utilities and end users," said Jeremy Eaton, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. "However, the scope and applicability of our work is expanding. Countries across the world are making significant investments to build a smarter, more robust grid. And we have the technology, services and relationships to help those investments pay dividends."

Honeywell said its decades of experience designing and implementing demand response and energy efficiency programmes for utilities will serve as the foundation for Smart Grid Solutions. The team will draw from these capabilities as it works to address global energy concerns.

"The grid won't be smart until it allows utilities and users to work together to reduce consumption and boost stability," said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. "Honeywell is providing the applications and services that will make energy infrastructure smarter and enable it to deliver benefits from the power plant to the consumer."