Raleigh Leads in Smart Grid

Is it any wonder Raleigh is a leader in Smart Grid technology and innovations? I don’t think so. With a rich history with companies such as Elster Solutions, formerly Westinghouse and newer additions such as ABB and Concert, Raleigh is quickly outpacing cities across the country as the brain trust in this increasingly important industry. And it doesn’t stop there. Not only do we have the companies, exploring new technologies and creating jobs, but we also have academic and organizational assets that both bolster the existing cluster of companies, but are a real draw to companies outside of the area and looking for a new environment where they will be nurtured and their growth fostered.

The FREEDM Systems Center, which stands for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management, is headquartered on NC State’s Centennial Campus and funded by the National Science Foundation. This organization is partnering with universities, industry, and national laboratories in 28 states and nine countries to develop technology to revolutionize the nation’s power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business.

Companies like ABB are leading the way to a new electricity future. ABB recently announced its Smart Grid Center of Excellence, which will be housed at the Centennial Campus location. The center will include a testing and development laboratory, a verification center to certify customer solutions before deployment, and a demonstration center that will showcase ABB’s smart technologies and collaboration partnerships. And this just the tip of the iceberg.

We have a real opportunity in the Triangle to capture the activity already underway and grow the cluster in a way that provides jobs and investment for our communities. Many organizations are coming together to better understand who is here, what they are doing, the needs of the industry, and recruitment opportunities as we begin to brand the area as the Smart Grid Capital of the World. The work is already underway, the companies are already here, the innovations are already happening—now we just need to tell our story and seize the opportunity to grow these jobs here.

For more information on Raleigh's efforts in Smart Grid technology please contact Adrienne Cole at 919.664.7049 oracole@raleighchamber.org.


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