IBM Establishes the Smarter Energy Research Institute to Advance the Utility of the Future

IBM Establishes the Smarter Energy Research Institute to Advance the Utility 
of the Future 
Hydro-Quebec (Canada), Alliander (Netherlands) and DTE Energy (USA) Join as 
the First Members 
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y., Oct. 25, 2012 /CNW/ - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced 
the launch of the Smarter Energy Research Institute, a new industrial research 
collaboration model aimed at accelerating innovation across the global energy 
and utilities market. Hydro-Quebec (Canada), Alliander (Netherlands) and DTE 
Energy (USA) join as the first members. 
(Logo: ) 
The Smarter Energy Research Institute is a new collaboration between corporate 
research and the energy and utilities industry to transform leading energy 
companies through the use of predictive analytics, system optimization and 
advanced computation to deliver better services to their customers. Combining 
IBM Research's expertise in the areas of mathematical sciences, computer 
science and high-performance computing with the deep-power engineering and 
operational know-how of the participating members, the Institute will focus on 
five core innovation tracks to pursue joint research and where shared 
investments, knowledge and capabilities will benefit every member. Each 
company will identify and be active in up to two tracks that match their 
business and operational priorities. The areas include: 

    --  Outage Planning Optimization – reducing the amount of
        time a customer is without power
    --  Asset Management Optimization – improving the allocation
        of capital and operational expenses in upgrades and maintenance
    --  Integration of Renewables and Distributed Energy Resources
        (DER) – meeting renewable integration and distributed
        energy resource regulatory targets while ensuring system
    --  Wide-Area Situational Awareness – detecting anomalies
        across the grid in real-time to improve resiliency, reliability
        and energy quality
    --  The Participatory Network – using an engagement model to
        transform relationships with consumers

Initial Members

The Smarter Energy Research Institute launches with Hydro-Quebec, Alliander 
and DTE Energy as the first members who operate large energy networks in 
Canada, the Netherlands and the United States and bring extensive knowledge 
and expertise in operating and advancing smart grids. Each member has a strong 
commitment in investing in future technologies and working collaboratively by 
combining the best of industrial research with the deep knowledge of the 
energy and utilities industry that drive innovation across the market.

Hydro-Quebec is one of the world's largest hydroelectric power producers and 
the only North American electric utility to operate its own research center 

"This is an important milestone for the industry and for Hydro-Quebec as we 
intensify our efforts to improve grid performance and stability.  Joining 
forces with IBM Research, which has a world-class department of mathematics 
researchers at its disposal, will help lead the efforts of our combined 
resources to address the next phase in smart-grid transformation," said Jean 
Lessard, Director Technology Innovation, IREQ Hydro-Quebec.

Alliander is a major Dutch energy distributor and specialist in renewable 
energy, sustainability, technical innovations, and complex power systems in 
the Netherlands, serving more than three million customers in the region.

"There is no other research-led consortium like the Smarter Energy Research 
Institute in our market and we believe that by bringing advanced research 
closer to areas of high industry importance, we can compress the time from 
research to implementation and business value," commented Rob Maathuis, 
Director of Asset Management at Alliander.

DTE Energy is an investor-owned diversified energy company involved in the 
development and management of energy-related businesses and services across 
the United States. DTE Energy's largest operating subsidiaries are Detroit 
Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern 
Michigan, and Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. (MichCon), a natural gas utility 
serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.

"Participating in this Institute allows us to utilize advances in predictive 
analytics to optimize the operation of our key assets and improve the 
reliability of our electric grid," said Vince Dow, Vice President Distribution 
Operations, DTE Energy.

Creating a Smarter Energy Environment

Expected outcomes of this research include equipping members with the ability 
to improve planning and reliability of operations through the use of 
prediction and optimization in the areas of outage and asset management. For 
example, the creation of coupled-predictive models allow for understanding, 
days in advance, the impact that a storm would cause on the electrical grid 
and preemptively position crews and resources to facilitate restoration 
efforts.  A shift from "fixed" to "condition-based" maintenance plans based on 
model-driven asset failure predictions have the potential to deliver 
significant value creation opportunities for energy and utilities.

In the area of renewable and distributed energy resources, which are prone to 
extreme variability, members can leverage predictive and optimization 
technologies, increasing the accuracy of their forecasts to balance the supply 
and demand of electricity and take measures that ensure system reliability.

Using advanced computational techniques capable of analyzing streaming data 
from sensors across the grid in near real-time enable more dynamic monitoring 
of the entire power system across large geographic areas, and offers the 
potential to reach even higher levels of performance and cost-effectiveness 
through improved situational awareness.

As a result, members can better navigate the transforming energy and utilities 
environment, collecting insights from the vast amount of information pervading 
their networks and systems, add further intelligence to the smart grid and 
uncover new ways that improve business and operational outcomes.

"Our mission is about bringing research and the energy industry closer 
together to work jointly on areas critical to the industry's transformation, 
and for members to become major beneficiaries in extracting value from the 
information and communication technology revolution. Working collaboratively 
across disciplines, institutions and geographies has been proven time and 
again at delivering superior innovation results" said Dr. Dario Gil, the 
Smarter Energy Research Institute's Director, and Director of Energy and 
Natural Resources for IBM Research.

Innovation Model

The Smarter Energy Research Institute represents a new form of collaborative 
innovation for the energy and utilities industry and is modeled after programs 
that IBM has successfully implemented with clients in other areas, placing 
scientists with members from other disciplines and industries, working 
side-by-side to research and develop new breakthroughs.

Members will focus on specific research projects with IBM scientists aimed at 
solving some of the industry's biggest challenges. These are caused in part by 
technology advancements that increase complexity across networks, by 
participatory networks that allow customers to consume and generate power and 
by the need to integrate renewable forms of energy safely and reliably into 
the grid.

The Institute is also an extension of IBM's long-term alliance with the energy 
and utilities industry as it moves forward through its most challenging 
transformation. In 2003, IBM co-founded the US-based GridWise Alliance that 
advocates for grid modernization, and in 2007, IBM formed the Global 
Intelligent Utility Network Coalition (GIUNC), a coalition of players in the 
energy and utilities market, which is helping accelerate the adoption and use 
of smart grid technologies and bringing digital intelligence to current 

As part of their participation, each member obtains usage rights for all the 
innovations (e.g. algorithms, software, patents) created by every participant 
of the Institute.  By working together and sharing the results of projects 
being undertaken across the Institute, members can benefit from the collection 
of new analytics-driven solutions throughout their enterprises.

The Smarter Energy Research Institute operates out of the global network of 
IBM Research labs, while simultaneously leveraging additional research and 
infrastructure operated by the members. It is equipped with state-of-the-art 
computational infrastructure to pursue its innovation agenda.

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About Hydro Quebec

Hydro-Quebec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole 
shareholder is the Quebec government. It uses mainly renewable generating 
options, in particular large hydro, and supports the development of other 
technologies—such as wind energy, biomass and small hydro—through 
purchases from independent power producers. It also conducts R&D in 
energy-related fields, including energy efficiency. Hydro-Quebec's research 
institute, IREQ, provides technical assistance to the divisions and carries 
out technological innovation projects to support their operations and ensure 
the long-term development of Hydro-Quebec. The company allocates approximately 
$100 million annually to IREQ's activities.

About Alliander

Network company Alliander, which employs approximately 7,000 staff, comprises 
the Liander, Endinet and Liandon companies. Network operators Liander and 
Endinet distribute electricity to 3.1 million customers and gas to 2.7 million 
customers in an area extending to over a third of the Netherlands. Liander and 
Endinet are responsible for maintenance, expansion and renewal of their grids 
in the provinces of Gelderland, Friesland, Noord-Holland and parts of 
Zuid-Holland, Flevoland and Noord-Brabant. Liandon provides services relating 
to the construction and maintenance of complex energy infrastructures.

About DTE Energy

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved 
in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services 
nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.1 
million customers in Southeastern Michigan, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 
million customers in Michigan and other non-utility, energy businesses focused 
on gas storage and pipelines, unconventional gas production, power and 
industrial projects, and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is 
available at, and

Contact Information

Fiona Doherty IBM External Relations 1-914-945-2319

Fabienne Guildhary  IBM External Relations  1-917-472-3733

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