01.10.2014 | Austria

S&T AG extends technology portfolio of “Smart Energy” business area

Anti-trust authorities approve taking stake in the California-based Networked Energy Services Inc.

S&T has made another significant move to expand its smart energy business area. The company purchased the Grid Modernization division of the USA's Echelon Corporation. This business has now been transferred to Networked Energy Services Corporation, (www.networkedenergy.com), which was founded for this purpose.

Networked Energy Services Corporation (NES) was formerly the “Grid Modernization Division” of Echelon Corporation. The new company maintains its primary R&D facility in Silicon Valley (CA) with an additional application and software innovation center in Fargo (ND). NES is now one of the world's leading smart energy companies. The company develops and produces OSGP-based (“Open Smart Grid Protocol) hardware and software solutions for intelligent power grids. Millions of these products have been installed and are operating successfully at market leading utilities around the world. Customers include Vattenfall, EON, Fortum, Duke Energy and many other notable industry players.

NES' business focus is the development and sale of its NES system, which includes utility data center software, field distributed application nodes and OSGP compliant devices used for advanced metering, control and grid data collection. NES sells its products through worldwide Value Added Resellers (VARs) which includes market leaders like LG CNS, Mitsubishi and Schneider Electric. The company is the world's leader in the field of transforming conventional power grids into intelligently-operating “smart” ones. These smart grids feature the transmission of data – enabled by intelligent power grid components – between energy suppliers and consumers. These increase the efficiency of networks, and give rise to new services and models for the calculation of invoices based on supply and demand. Such grids will also expedite the expansion of sustainable energy-based grids and enable consumers to become active participants in energy conservation.

The purchase of NES was approved by the responsible anti-trust authorities. The closing took place on September 30, 2014. S&T holds a 40% stake in the new company, with the rest of the equity belonging to a financial investor. This latter holding is to be sold to strategic investors based in Asia and in the Middle East. The requisite preliminary contracts have already been drawn up.

Smart grids
...are “intelligent”. This means that they enable bidirectional communication between energy suppliers and consumers. The smart meters installed on consumers' premises employ a low-voltage power grid to communicate with a head-end system, which aggregates the data supplied to it by the smart grid's components. These flows of data enable the real-time determination of levels of grid utilization. This, in turn, permits the intelligent distribution of such loads. It also allows for the pricing of electricity in accordance with supply and demand. The growing share of energy stemming from alternative sources is one of the prime drivers of the deployment of smart grids. This is because the grid technologies previously used are not capable of handling such systems' characteristics.

S&T AG (www.snt.at, ISIN AT0000A0E9W5, WKN A0X9EJ, SANT) is listed on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company has some 2,100 employees. It operates in 20 countries. S&T is one of the three largest suppliers of IT systems in Austria and in Eastern Europe. S&T's prime assets include the breadth of the products – many proprietorially developed - comprising its portfolio. These products are used in the smart energy, cloud, security and mobile IT sectors. The portfolio is distributed throughout Central and Eastern Europe. S&T launched its “smart energy” business area in 2014. This area now comprises NES (www.networkedenergy.com), the Austria-based Ubitronix GmbH (www.ubitronix.at) and the Group subsidiary RTSoft (www.rtsoft.ru/en). These companies provide S&T with an unsurpassed portfolio of smart energy technologies. This portfolio enables S&T to offer comprehensive, end-to-end solutions in this area.