News | April 4, 2012

Echelon Enables Micro Grids In India And South Africa

Deployments Balance Demand and Supply at the Edge of the Grid for Residential and Commercial Buildings

San Jose /PRNewswire/ -- Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) today announced two micro grid deployments in India and South Africa that integrate distributed generation to compensate for disruptions in utility-supplied power. The deployments are built on Echelon's proven, open standard, multi-application energy control networking platform powered by its Control Operating System (COS)and incorporate application software and services from its local partners Grene Robotics and Power Meter Technics (PMT). The first-of-its-kind in the two countries, the micro grid deployments involve dynamically managing demand and energy supply mix for a residential community and a retail mall to deliver reliable service cost-effectively.

The model micro grid deployments are at Palm Meadows in Hyderabad, India, and Clearwater Mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. Palm Meadows is an 86-acre integrated gated community with 335 homes and residential services. Clearwater Mall in Johannesburg is a retail building with more than 240 stores. Such micro grids are likely to be a best practice in emerging countries grappling with intermittent power supply, and are also applicable in environmentally conscious countries that are aggressively incorporating renewable and intermittent energy sources into the distribution network.

"Smart micro grids are an ideal way to integrate local generation at the community level and allow for customer participation in the electricity enterprise," said Michael Anderson, senior vice president of Worldwide Markets for Echelon. "Micro grids sit at the edge of the smart grid and provide real-time analysis, decision making and control. The Palm Meadows and Clearwater Mall deployments are great examples of how Echelon's commitment to leading the worldwide transformation of the electricity grid into an energy control network can foster market innovation. The concepts demonstrated in India and South Africa can be replicated worldwide to improve power reliability and to integrate energy efficiency solutions as well as renewable generation."

Palm Meadows – Consumers Expect Power
The Palm Meadows community ties into the grid at a dedicated substation and sources energy in bulk from the utility. The community also runs diesel generators and will incorporate solar generation in the future. Residences within the community are equipped with Echelon smart meters that connect into data concentrators at distribution transformers and feed near real-time usage information to Echelon's Networked Energy Systems (NES)system software. Echelon partner Grene Robotics' Skynet management application automatically turns on local generation if utility-delivered power is inadequate. The Skynet software interfaces with the NES system software and creates a bill for the customer that reflects the customers' actual use of lower cost grid power and more expensive locally generated power. Customers have the option of reducing usage at times when the more expensive energy is being supplied. The Palm Meadows micro grid is providing reliable service even during frequent utility grid outages and enabling the customer to make intelligent trade-offs between comfort and cost.

"When you flip that light switch, turn your television on, or boot up your computer, you expect power," said Kiran Penmatcha, CEO of Grene Robotics. "Like a national power grid, the Palm Meadows micro grid manages generation, distribution, and the regulation of the flow of electricity to its households. We are pleased to have helped implement a proven, open and multi-application energy control infrastructure that enables Palm Meadows to become distributors of energy within their community. Today, the community is evaluating the integration of solar generated electricity for the future. Tomorrow, the community may look to add other applications, such as outdoor lighting control on the same infrastructure."

Clearwater Mall – Store Owners Manage Energy Use, Costs and Maximize their Revenue
The frequency and length of blackouts in South Africa can have devastating effects on its commercial sector. For example, the local South African public utility had to institute a system of rolling blackouts over a period of four months to balance electricity demand, in which supply was interrupted at least once or twice a day on an average of four hours at a time. The Clearwater Mall tenants, which consist of nine anchor stores, and more than two hundred other local and international fashion and quick serve food outlets, restaurants, banks, electronic goods and other specialty stores, require reliable electricity so they can continue to run their business. The mall's new retail micro grid solution, based on Echelon partner PMT's Meteringonline energy management application, employs Echelon smart meters, data concentrators, and NES system software to submeter individual tenant usage, so they can pay only for their actual energy usage rather than the industry norm of paying for energy on a square footage basis. Furthermore, tenants can opt-in to power supplied by local back-up generation when blackouts occur. PMT's Meteringonline application interfaces to Echelon's system software and reconciles usage with energy source, allocating tariffs based on actual use. The on-demand energy services allow the store owners to manage their energy usage and associated costs and maximize revenues.

"South Africa experiences major power shortages with rolling blackouts on a regular basis, therefore implementing a rock solid energy control networking platform for Clearwater Mall and its tenants was of utmost importance," said Graeme Mellis, director of PMT. "The Echelon solution with our Meteringonline system software created a perfect micro grid solution for Clearwater Mall to deliver multiple applications to its tenants, such as submetering, selective back up generation and consolidated billing."

Growing Interest In Micro Grids Globally
According to Pike Research, interest in implementing micro grids is spreading among educational, commercial, government, healthcare, industrial, and research campuses. A new report from Pike Research forecasts that total installed generation capacity for campus micro grids will increase by 164% between 2011 and 2017, rising from 620 megawatts (MW) to 1.6 gigawatts (GW). By the end of the forecast period in 2017, the clean tech market intelligence firm anticipates that the campus micro grid market will reach $777 million in annual revenue.

"Micro grids are an aggregation and optimization platform that can squeeze the most value out of existing and new distributed energy assets, whether they are solar photovoltaic generation technology or smart meters enabling demand response. Micro grids are the building blocks of a smart grid whose modularity can shrink energy consumption by 10 to 15% through more intelligent networking," said Peter Asmus, senior analyst at Pike Research.

About Echelon Corporation
Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is an Energy Control Networking company, with the world's most widely deployed proven, open standard, multi-application platform, selling complete systems and embedded sub-systems for smart grid, smart city and smart building applications. Our platform is embedded in more than 100 million devices, 35 million homes, and 300,000 buildings and powers energy savings applications for smart grids, smart cities and smart buildings. We help our customers reduce operational costs, enhance satisfaction and safety, grow revenues and prepare for a dynamic future. More information about Echelon can be found at

Echelon and the Echelon logo are registered trademarks of Echelon Corporation registered in the United States and other countries. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

This press release may contain statements relating to future plans, events or performance. Such statements may involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with market acceptance of Echelon's technology, including the NES system, by itself or combined with other applications or offerings; the risk that Echelon's offerings by themselves or combined with other applications or offerings do not perform as designed or do not offer the expected benefits and savings; risks associated with international sales in India, South Africa and elsewhere; and other risks identified in Echelon's SEC filings. Actual results, events and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Echelon undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SOURCE Echelon Corporation

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