Smart Utility


OMNETRIC Group is one of five teams to receive funding from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as part of their Integrated Network Testbed for Energy Grid Research and Technology Experimentation (INTEGRATE) project. OMNETRIC Group, a joint venture between Siemens and Accenture, is focused on further developing and implementing a solution that allows intelligent grid components to interoperate and distribute control strategies closer to the edge of the grid.

“The INTEGRATE project aims to ensure the provision of grid services in a holistic manner using an open platform,” said Wade Malcolm, CEO of OMNETRIC Group for North America. “We are working with our partners to develop a solution that allows renewable energy systems to be connected to a “smart” power grid in a more “plug and play” fashion. Easier integration is at the heart of what we do at OMNETRIC Group and this initiative will support the distribution of cleaner, more affordable energy, without compromising grid efficiency and reliability.”

The proposed solution provides options beyond the traditional centralized control concept and will allow decisions to be made at the edge of the grid with more timely response to changing conditions. Under the INTEGRATE project, OMNETRIC Group will deploy and validate their distribution management solution at NREL’s unique megawatt-scale Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). In addition, OMNETRIC Group is working closely with Siemens to integrate and utilize the Siemens Spectrum Power Microgrid Management System (MGMS), a software solution for microgrid management and control.

As part of the project, OMNETRIC Group will collaborate with Duke Energy to enhance their microgrid system, located at one of the utility’s existing substations in South Charlotte, North Carolina.OMNETRIC Group will also work with CPS Energy to deploy a new microgrid solution at the Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston military base in San Antonio, Texas. “At CPS Energy we see our electric and gas grids in the early stages of transformation into an interoperable network to support a variety of transformational analytics, products, and services.” said Raiford Smith, CPS Energy’s Vice President of corporate development and planning. “With OMNETRIC Group, the microgrid project at Fort Sam Houston is another way we are building out the Grid of the Future”.

OMNETRIC Group will also partner with the University of Texas, San Antonio, to incorporate UTSA’s renewable power forecasting into the NREL project’s microgrid management system.The INTEGRATE project promotes the use of open standards and will evaluate elements of centralized, hybrid (a combination of centralized and distributed) and distributed control strategies. OMNETRIC Group aims to determine the technical and economic feasibility of systems based on the open field message bus architecture, extending early work initiated by Duke Energy.

“We are pleased to see how industry partners are leveraging advances made by Duke Energy to prove that enhanced grid operation can be achieved economically through use of a distributed intelligence platform.” said Stuart Laval, Manager, Technology Development, Duke Energy. “Duke Energy is committed to the advancement of renewable integration to the grid by breaking down proprietary and operational siloes”.OMNETRIC Group and the other NREL partners will share their results with industry and standards organizations such as the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) and North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), to enhance standards and guideline development to further facilitate interoperability.

OMNETRIC Group was launched by Siemens and Accenture in October 2013 to develop and implement approaches for improved integration of information technology with operational assets. Based on the Siemens product suite, OMNETRIC Group is working to improve the performance of smart grid assets, such as micro grids, enhancing the integration and penetration of distributed energy resources into the grid and creating open integration approaches to further advance the grid’s evolution.