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Minnesota electric co-ops undertake $5 million smart grid project

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, May 03, 2012

A group of Minnesota electric cooperatives announced on Tuesday that they will soon be able to better control varying energy demands by developing a $5 million smart grid system, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

According to the news source, the project, which is being funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, will implement software that will allow utilities to monitor and manage power across the region.

"We have to think about changing our business model, and it can't be just about selling electricity," said Gary Connett, Great River Energy director of member services. The smart grid technologies will be used for advanced data collection that will help reduce demand during peak loads and integrate renewable sources, such as wind, into the grid.

The initiative is a part of a 12-state endeavor to further develop the smart grid, funded by $34 million in DOE grants, the media outlet stated.

SUBNET products are used in such smart grid systems to efficiently collect and analyze huge amounts of data created by intelligent electronic devices that have been installed on existing substation hardware. The products are a part of SUBNET's interoperability solution that connects any substation device over any communication network to any business intelligence system.

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