T&D World Magazine

Honeywell Acquires Demand Response and Smart Grid Company Akuacom

Honeywell has announced the acquisition of San Rafael, California-based Akuacom, a provider of automated demand response technology and services for the smart grid. The Akuacom Demand Response Automation Server provides utilities and independent system operators (ISOs) two-way communication with energy management systems at commercial and industrial sites. This gives utilities and ISOs the ability to automate the delivery of price and reliability signals to these facilities, and more effectively trim peak demand, adding to Honeywell's energy management and smart grid portfolio.

Utilities and ISOs use demand response to reduce consumption when electricity is expensive and demand outpaces supply -- usually on hot days when air conditioners and cooling equipment are running in most facilities. By working with their customers to control energy use, utilities and ISOs save money by eliminating the need for additional peaking power plants, which typically run only when electricity use spikes. Customers reduce costs as well by shifting consumption to times when prices and rates are lower.

"Honeywell is the ideal partner to bring scale to Akuacom's unique technology," said Clay Collier, chief executive officer of Akuacom. "We can give facilities across the globe quick, easy access to demand response programs, and greater control over how they use and pay for energy."

The technology is based on the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) protocol, a communication standard developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and selected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the smart grid. This open, standards-based approach allows almost any facility to participate in demand response programs. Energy management systems from more than 30 vendors, including Honeywell, can currently connect to the Demand Response Automation Server with an Internet connection.

"We strongly support open standards, and will continue to develop offerings that leverage existing communication infrastructure, provide significant value to utilities and empower end users to make smart energy choices with minimal effort," Orzeske said. "Those elements are essential for quickly expanding the reach and impact of the smart grid."

Akuacom will be integrated into Honeywell Building Solutions, a global provider of energy and utility services, as well as building automation technology and support services. The acquisition complements Honeywell's experience in managing all aspects of utility-sponsored demand response programs -- from program design and load-control technology to marketing and customer support.

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