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Member spotlight 8.15.14: Qualcomm, Opower, CH2M HILL, GRID20/20

Submitted by scc staff on August 15, 2014

Scroll down for this week's short takes from Council members …

Qualcomm ups commitment to mobile learning with acquisition of EmpoweredU: Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Council Lead Partner Qualcomm, wants to continue to demonstrate how technology innovations can help address education challenges. To that end, it has acquired Empowered, a pioneer in the development of an intuitive, mobile-centric cloud-based learning environment that is both device and operating system agnostic. Qualcomm says in its press release that the integration of EmpoweredU, with other education initiatives within Qualcomm, will allow Qualcomm Technologies to accelerate mobile innovation and 24/7 learning into education – providing institutions, students and parents with access to education tools. The EmpoweredU environment is designed so students can access and learn anywhere with wireless connectivity, anytime, across multiple operating systems via a consistent user interface across web and mobile devices. Synchronized content and offline access to course materials combine with real-time mobile learner analytics so that instructors can access up-to-the-minute information to understand student and class performance, and can adjust the curriculum accordingly. 

Image removed.Opower software provides usage data for utility customers without smart meters: Council Associate Partner Opower has developed software that allows electric utility customers to receive usage data whether they have a smart meter or analog meter. In a recent Opower Labs blog post, the utility software company notes that smart meters are indeed becoming the norm in the U.S., but that many regions are still years away from having them installed. The good news:Opower has developed an algorithm that helps unlock the power of the smart meters for those customers that don’t yet have them. According to the blog writers, “the algorithm provides a personalized breakdown of a customer’s energy usage into distinct end-use categories -- air conditioning, appliances, hot water heating, and so on. That gives them a better understanding of what’s driving their energy costs.”

CH2M HILL project helps secure Perth’s drinking water supply: Western Australia’s Water Corporation has awarded Council Associate Partner CH2M HILL a contract to design, construct and commission a full-scale Advanced Water Replenishment Plant (AWRP) in Perth. The plant, part of a joint venture with Thiess, is the first wastewater recycling project of its type in Australia and is a major step in progressing the Water Corporation’s strategy for climate resiliency. “With Australia’s dry climate, groundwater replenishment provides a secure, rainfall independent water source and will be an integral part of northern Perth’s future water security,” said Chris Morris, CH2M HILL Australia and New Zealand Geography Manager, in a company press release. The plant, which will inject highly treated wastewater into Perth’s unground aquifers, will have an initial capacity of 14 billion liters -- double the project’s original capacity, with an option to expand to 28 billion liters in the future. When commissioned, the plant will help Perth meet its future drinking water needs through 2060.

GRID20/20 pact takes grid optimization into new markets: GRID20/20 and Dominion Voltage, Inc. (DVI), a grid optimization solutions provider, have teamed up to bring grid optimization into new markets. "By taking advantage of the GRID20/20 technology and integrating it into our platform, we are able to offer our EDGE solution into markets that were previously unreachable," said Todd Headlee, executive director of DVI. "This platform also lays the foundation for integrating distributed generation and electric vehicles onto the grid. We are excited about this new collaboration and the opportunity to work together to expand our reach in the grid-optimization market." Following months of rigorous research and evaluation, DVI concluded that GRID20/20 – a Council Associate Partner -- provides a superior intra-grid sensing platform to effectively drive its EDGE solution within markets not possessing smart meters. In addition, GRID20/20 OptaNODE DTM intra-grid sensors can be used to optimize the grid as distributed generation and electric vehicles become more prevalent.