Feature Article

June 09, 2010

Zigbee Alliance and Sunspec Alliance Team Up

The ZigBee Alliance is a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications.

The SunSpec Alliance was formed to accelerate the growth of the renewable energy industry through standardization of monitoring and management interfaces for energy system components.

The two companies have announced they have signed a collaboration agreement for defining standards for renewable energy and microgrid management using the ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0 standard.

Uses of distributed generation are on the rise in the residences and businesses as both residences and businesses are increasingly installing solar power generating systems. This necessitates the setting up of well-organized connection between microgrid systems and the Smart Grid.  

The collaboration between ZigBee and SunSpec is going to address the existing gap between the growing use of distributed generation via renewable energy resources and the Smart Grid, in order to take advantage of the energy management efficiencies of the Smart Grid. 

ZigBee Smart Energy enables wireless communication between utility companies and common household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. It improves energy efficiency by allowing consumers to choose interoperable products from different manufacturers giving them the means to manage their energy consumption more precisely using automation and near real-time information.  It also helps utilities and energy providers implement new advanced metering and demand response programs to drive greater energy management and efficiency, while responding to changing government requirements.

'Working with the SunSpec Alliance further broadens the reach and strength of ZigBee Smart Energy by giving renewable energy industries and the utilities a standardized approach to Smart Grid integration. As more consumers and businesses install renewable energy systems, they need a way to control not only their energy use, but also how it ties in to their local utility.  They will be able to do all of this using ZigBee Smart Energy,' said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. 

The SunSpec Alliance, which was formed to accelerate the growth of the renewable energy industry, creates and publishes specifications; establishes testing and certification procedures for product conformance; and educates consumers, utilities and vendors on the benefits of the standardization.

'ZigBee Smart Energy is a key standard to removing barriers and firmly establishing product interoperability that expedites Smart Grid integration of renewable power generating sources. The SunSpec Alliance shares the ZigBee Alliance's vision of helping consumers and businesses realize a new era of energy management and efficiency, and this collaboration adds a focus on the control of renewable energy production,' Tom Tansy, chairman of the SunSpec Alliance, said.

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