BPL Global Unleashes Smart Energy Grid Management Platform2010-03-14

Powering Up: BPL Global Unleashes Smart Energy Grid Management Platform; is positioned for Continued Growth
by Matt Pross

The United States is in the midst of the largest energy grid modernization in its history. Last June, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama announced the availability of $3.4 billion in grants to invest in smart grid technologies and the nation's electric transmission infrastructure. Since then, 100 grant awards have been announced, ranging from $400,000 to $200 million. When combined with matching private investments, more than $8 billion will be spent in the next several years to start modernizing the U.S. energy grid.

One of the main technology drivers at the forefront of this effort is intelligent grid applications that enable utility and energy service companies to manage various aspects of the energy distribution process. Historically, the industry has purchased point solutions from different suppliers, including smart meters, demand management solutions, transformer monitors and substation automation to manage distribution. However, this industry-standard was far from a "smart" solution, as the point solutions were largely fragmented and inefficient. With this background in mind, it was a huge step forward for the smart grid market when Cranberry-based BPL Global (BPLG) came to market with its end-to-end smart grid management platform, the Power SG Foundation.

"BPL Global has developed an integrated smart grid solution from the substation through customer premises," Keith Schaefer, President, CEO and Co-Founder of BPL Global, explained. "Our integrated approach allows utilities to define a smart grid transition plan starting with applications that create the highest value. More importantly, our solutions provide integrated management of these applications, allowing utilities to fully realize the value of a smart grid where the complex relationship between reliability, efficiency, economic, environmental and operational goals is optimized."

There is no doubt that BPLG's end-to-end smart grid management solution has found favor with the marketplace – the company grew 1,456 percent from 2006 – 2008 with 60 percent of its revenue coming from international business. Now, combine that international success with the $3.4 billion the Federal government just injected into the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program, and you have a strong equation for growth here and abroad.

BPLG has strategically partnered with numerous electric utility providers that received SGIGs. With its integrated software solution, the company is uniquely positioned to play a huge role in the modernization of the domestic electric grid and will have the opportunity to work on projects with awards totaling more than $800 million.

"The SGIG projects are transformative for our company and provide substantial revenue growth for participating smart grid solutions companies," Schaefer said. "The significant number and size of the projects validate the smart grid market as a mainstream, high growth business opportunity that will create tens of thousands of jobs and build smarter, more reliable and cleaner energy grids."

BPLG's emergence as a major player in the smart grid technology industry fits in quite nicely with Pittsburgh's continued legacy of global energy innovation. Just a few months ago Schaefer and five other CEOs from regional energy technology companies formed USCEL – the United States Center for Energy Leadership. The five other founding members include Plextronics, Westinghouse, Allegheny Energy, EQT and CONSOL Energy. The mission of USCEL is "to establish a stable energy environment for the United States that includes energy independence, stable energy pricing and a portfolio approach to meeting increasing energy needs.

"We are in the midst of establishing Pittsburgh as the energy innovation capital of the world," Schaefer said. "When you combine the region's expansive natural resources with the amazing research and development being done locally and the educated, talented workforce in southwestern Pennsylvania, it's no wonder there are so many innovative companies here that are growing and creating high-paying, clean jobs."

As Pittsburgh continues to evolve into the global innovation capital in energy technologies, look for BPLG to continue its rapid growth here in southwestern Pennsylvania and around the world as more and more utility providers turn to the company's integrated smart grid solution to manage and optimize energy distribution.

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