Siemens and Accenture to form smart grid joint venture to enable more efficient network operation and greater supply security

Published: Thu 31 Oct 2013
Siemens and Accenture have agreed to form a joint venture in the smart grid field. Named Omnetric Group, it will develop solutions and services that allow utilities to improve efficiency and achieve greater supply security. The company will be headquartered in Munich and will employ approximately 100 people in its first year. Its business operations will focus initially on Europe and the U.S., with further global expansion planned in the future. Siemens and Accenture have agreed not to disclose financial details of the agreement on Omnetric Group.
 
Omnetric Group will focus on solutions and services for system integration and management of the growing volume of data created as part of power grid operation. These offerings will enable utilities to integrate operational technologies (OT), such as real-time grid management, with information technologies (IT) like smart metering.

Omnetric Group will combine Siemens products and solutions with Accenture's expertise in consulting, system integration and operating solutions (managed services). The IT and OT solutions are also complemented by both companies' extensive experience in the power industry. "By bringing together the experience of both Siemens and Accenture, Omnetric Group will be a strong and agile company that will meet the needs of a fast-changing market," said Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens' Smart Grid Division.

The solutions and services that the new company will provide will address a host of the challenges that energy utilities are facing today. In Europe, for example, the rapid rise of distributed power generation is putting pressure on energy prices and threatening energy utilities' business models. At the same time, this growing influx of intermittent power from renewable sources jeopardizes the stability of the grid. In North America, an aging infrastructure and higher frequency of natural disasters are threatening supply security.

"Utilities can improve overall grid reliability and bridge the gap to real-time grid control through integration and implementation of new and previously isolated grid applications," said Mrosik. Demand response solutions can be used to actively manage consumption, for example. Virtual power plants enable new profitable business models, and meter data management makes usage transparent for consumers and permits energy-efficient consumption. "We believe this integration could not be done better than by a company that combines Siemens' industry know-how and Accenture's complementary IT experience."

Jack Azagury, Global Managing Director for Accenture's Smart Grid Services, said: "Utilities are seeking ways to increase capital effectiveness and reduce their costs of operations, while integrating an increasing amount of distributed renewable generation and electric vehicles into their electricity networks. Doing so requires an enterprise view of systems and data through the integration of traditional IT solutions with the operational solutions required to manage the grid. Omnetric Group will be excellently positioned to help utilities realize the benefits of this IT and OT 'convergence,' which is a critical step toward managing an increasingly complex and data-driven utility."

Omnetric Group will begin operations pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.