• Accenture posted a press release on October 8th to say that it had been selected by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to provide strategic consulting on the planning and implementation of smart grids in the UK. No figures seem to have been released about the value of the contract and timescales for delivery.
It seems that Accenture will be responsible for analysing the UK’s electricity grid network and market structure and will advise on the readiness to adopt smart grid technology and services. The company will also help with developing the business case around the financial viability and potential benefits of smart grids. I look forward to reading the report (if we get to see it).
• Last week Microsoft announced that it has developed a reference architecture, known as the Microsoft Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA), that can serve as the basis for development of the ‘integrated utility of the future.’
SERA helps utilities test the alignment of information technology with their business processes and provides a road map to help identify and solve the integration issues facing grid and energy ecosystems. Microsoft believes it will help utilities implement solutions faster and more reliably and has been working with power industry partners to ensure that SERA addresses power utilities’ IT infrastructure needs.
Microsoft claims that SERA will help create a world where a plethora of smart devices can seamlessly plug into the grid thanks to common standards and interoperability frameworks, just as the plug-and-play model allows thousands of devices to seamlessly plug into PCs today.