The GridWise Alliance has announced that Google, Bridge Strategy Group, Sharp Laboratories and 3Tier have joined the national coalition whose goal is to transform the nation's electric power system.
"We are pleased to welcome these new members to the GridWise Alliance," said Katherine Hamilton, president of the GridWise Alliance. "The addition of these leading companies strengthens the Alliance and broadens its impact.Their knowledge and innovation will be invaluable to our efforts to transform the electricity grid."
"Google is pleased to join the GridWise Alliance," said Dan Reicher, Google's Director for Climate Change & Energy Initiatives. "Smart grid technologies will empower consumers with real time, money-saving information about their energy use.Building a smart grid -- essentially an energy Internet -- will also enable plug-in electric vehicles, speed the development of utility-scale renewable energy, and spur the creation of clean energy jobs."
Over the past two years membership in the GridWise Alliance has grown four-fold as recognition of the need to modernize the North American electricity grid has increased. President-Elect Barack Obama has made modernizing the electricity grid a cornerstone of his energy policy and a source of green jobs.
"While there is general agreement that a sustainable energy future must incorporate energy efficiency, renewables, storage, and plug-in cars, it is often forgotten or underemphasized that these solutions all depend on a smarter grid to achieve scale and cost effectiveness," said Guido Bartels, Chairman of the GridWise Alliance and General Manager of IBM's Global Energy and Utilities Industry. "The GridWise Alliance members recognize that a smart grid is foundational for a sustainable energy future and if there is a growing consensus within the U.S. that clean energy is a platform for rebuilding the American economy, then it follows that a smart grid is also critical to economic growth," he added.
The GridWise Alliance and its 74 private and public stakeholders are gathering this week in Houston, Texas, for their Annual Member and Board Meeting. The event is being hosted by Alliance member company, CenterPoint Energy. A highlight of the agenda is a tour of CenterPoint Energy's Technology Center in which visitors can get a very realistic 'look and feel' for what a smart grid is and the benefits it will provide. More than 300 groups have toured this state-of-the-art facility including regulators, customers, scientists, and utilities, from the United States and abroad.