Around the Industry

July 8, 2011
Microsoft and Google kill consumer power management projects Within a week of each other, Google and Microsoft separately announced that they were closing

Microsoft and Google kill consumer power management projects

Within a week of each other, Google and Microsoft separately announced that they were closing the doors on their home energy management services just two years after their debuts. Google said it was ending its PowerMeter online software project and Microsoft said it was putting an end to its rival Hohm service. Both said the reason was that not enough people and utilities were signing up for the free service. When the services were introduced two years ago, home energy monitoring and management was considered a necessary part of making utility smart-grid offerings viable. Observers suggest that the services were simply launched too soon and will return in some form once the nation's grids get smarter.

Siemens to fill 400 openings in Building Technologies division

While few companies have started hiring on a grand scale, Siemens announced last week that it needs to fill more than 400 open positions across the United States in its Building Technologies division.

“Buildings are actually the world's biggest energy users, even ahead of transportation and industry, consuming one-third of the electricity in the U.S.,” said Daryl Dulaney, president and CEO of Siemens Industry Inc. “Siemens is looking to hire 400 new employees to support sales as well as the subsequent engineering and servicing of buildings targeted for retrofit or modernization to lower energy consumption, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve the bottom line for city budgets.”

Open positions in the Building Technologies division are based in 39 states across the U.S., and require skills and/or experience in building systems and energy efficiency, field service and sales, installation and project management, product marketing, and electrical and mechanical engineering. For those interested in applying for an open position in the Building Technologies division, all open positions in the U.S. can be found at:

S&C Electric to build utility-scale battery storage in Canada

S&C Electric will spearhead a $15-million British Columbia grid-scale storage project using sodium-sulfur batteries intended to reduce costs and outages. BC Hydro chose the Chicago-based company for the project, which will serve the municipalities of Golden and Field, B.C. S&C will install two 1MW sodium-sulfur batteries supplied by NGK Insulators of Japan. The battery in Golden will supplement power. The one in Field will store up to seven hours of power for use during outages. The batteries will promote peak shaving, reducing costs to consumers and balancing the grid.

Emerson buys Net Safety Monitoring

Emerson Process Management, St. Louis, Mo., has acquired Net Safety Monitoring, Inc., a manufacturer of fixed toxic and combustible gas detectors, flame detectors, safety systems and other safety and security products. The acquisition expands Emerson's capabilities to provide comprehensive process controls and safety monitoring for the harsh industrial environments. Calgary-based Net Safety develops products engineered for continuous performance in the most extreme conditions, particularly for the oil and gas industry. The business will continue to operate separately within Emerson Process Management's Analytical Group.

Rexel starts up online magazine to cover green market

Rexel, Dallas, has launched a new online magazine at that will focus on energy regulation, solutions, projects, markets and related global news. In announcing the launch, Chris Hartmann, executive V.P. and CEO of Rexel Holdings USA, said, “Rexel aims to share its recognized experience as a distributor and its knowledge of electrical solutions to raise awareness of electrical efficiency issues, sharing information with the widest possible audience.”

LSG lighting up solar homes for 2011 Solar Decathlon competition

Four collegiate entrants to the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2011 will use lighting solutions offered by Lighting Science Group (LSG), Satellite Beach, Fla. Using the company's LED lamps will be design teams from Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Old Dominion University and Hampton University; and Middlebury College. The Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This year's competition will be held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23-Oct. 2.

Scotland harnessing wave power

Scotland is quietly becoming center of research for wave energy and tidal power. According to Scottish Development International, Scotland benefits from 25 percent of Europe's tidal energy and 10 percent of Europe's wave resources. A recent Bloomberg article, said EON, Germany's largest utility, and Scottish Power Ltd., part of Iberdrola of Spain, the world's biggest renewable energy producer, along with a group of other investors and developers are now conducting marine energy research projects near Scotland's Orkney Islands.

DOE releases CALiPER testing data

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed Round 12 of product testing through the DOE Solid-State Lighting (SSL) CALiPER program. Round 12 of product testing included six primary focus areas: SSL recessed downlights, SSL track lights, SSL A-lamps, benchmark 100W incandescent A-lamps and 70-100W halogen equivalents, SSL replacements for linear fluorescent lamps in high-performance troffers, and SSL and benchmark cove lights. The Round 12 Summary Report provides an overview of photometric performance results and discusses the results with respect to similar products that use conventional light sources, results from earlier rounds of CALiPER testing, and manufacturer ratings.

Siemens wins big paper mill order

Siemens Industry Inc., Atlanta, received a multi-million dollar order from Greenpac Mill LLC, a Cascades Inc. affiliate, to supply the complete electrification and service for a new $430 million green containerboard mill in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Siemens will provide automation and electric power distribution equipment for the new 250,000-square-foot mill, including drives, motors, gear boxes and stock preparation, as well as paper machine equipment and services.