AT&T, Petra Solar partner to offer smart grid solar system technology

Source: AT&T Inc.

AT&T(1) (NYSE:T ) continues to further its efforts in smart grid for utility companies with a new agreement with Petra Solar, a clean tech pioneer that combines solar generation and smart grid technology in a single system. AT&T will offer Petra Solar's innovative technology, which allows utility companies to simultaneously address Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements and invest in a smart grid technology. 

Petra Solar designs and manufactures the first smart grid interactive solar electric system specifically designed for installation on utility distribution poles, Utility Grade SunWave™ UP Series. The systems, which operate as individual power generation stations, combine solar power, smart grid and power management technologies to enable utilities to improve power quality and grid management. Petra Solar's systems operate on streetlight and utility poles, connecting directly to the grid's secondary voltage lines at the pole. 

Last July the N.J. Board of Public Utilities approved a contract between Petra Solar and New Jersey's largest utility, PSE&G, to generate 40MW of power through SunWave solar systems installed on up to 200,000 poles in New Jersey. The intelligent photovoltaic solar units are currently being installed throughout the state's six largest cities and 300 suburban communities and will be running on the AT&T wireless network. 

"This program, which is part of our Solar 4 All™ initiative, brings the benefits of solar energy to every community we serve, while also creating much needed green jobs in manufacturing and installation. PSE&G's programs to promote energy efficiency, develop renewables and accelerate infrastructure investments are putting hundreds of New Jersey residents to work at this critical time," said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G President and COO. 

"By harnessing the scale of the AT&T network to deliver more sustainable solutions, we enable wireless connections across people and businesses helping to increase efficiency," said Michael Antieri, President, Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. "This new relationship with Petra Solar marks another step into integrating our wireless network capabilities with the benefits of smart grid technology and the leading-edge renewable energy solutions available today." 

"We're proud to team up with AT&T to fully utilize the intelligence of our solution," said Dr. Shihab Kuran, President and CEO of Petra Solar. "SunWave™ units are mounted on utility poles and connected directly to the grid at the pole. This creates a highly efficient distributed solar generation system that also provides smart grid capabilities to our customers through real-time communications between the systems in the field and the utility control center. In addition, our systems enhance electric distribution grid reliability and help stabilize the grid during periods of increased load." Kuran also noted that "PSE&G's clean energy project with Petra Solar's SunWave solution is the largest solar electric project under construction in the country." 

AT&T's suite of M2M pricing plans designed specifically for smart grids makes this solution an economical choice for utilities. In addition, AT&T offers a range of strategic mobility products and services to the utility industry, including wireless solutions for field service workers, outage detection and remote monitoring for automated metering infrastructure. AT&T's dedicated team of industry specialists understands the business process from end to end and translates technical solutions into meaningful business value for customers
The announcement complements AT&T's own commitment to support renewable energy resources and help foster a more energy-efficient economy. AT&T's commitment is exemplified in the 2009 recommendations by AT&T to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recommendations for a regulatory framework that will accelerate smart grid deployment. 

The joint solution offered by AT&T and Petra Solar is immediately available throughout North America. 

1) AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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