Best Buy, Freescale, Intel, Landis+Gyr, LG Electronics, Sony and Texas Gas Service Join Pecan Street Project Industry Advisory Council

Press Release • June 28, 2011

For Immediate Release

Contact:   Colin Rowan, media@pecanstreetproject.org

(AUSTIN – June 28, 2011) – Pecan Street Project Inc. announced today the formation of its Industry Advisory Council – a collection of member companies that will collaborate with Pecan Street Project’s team of internal and University of Texas (UT) researchers.

The Industry Advisory Council’s founding members are Best Buy, Freescale, Intel, Landis+Gyr, LG Electronics USA, Sony and Texas Gas Service.  Each member company has assigned employees to work with Pecan Street Project, UT and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on smart grid consortium research.

“Our organization was modeled on UT’s vision of the university-public-private consortium as a catalyst for innovation and commercialization,” said Pecan Street Project executive director Brewster McCracken. “The Industry Advisory Council builds on that vision to create advances in energy that benefit consumers, realize environmental progress and foster private sector opportunity.”

A research organization based at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Project is currently carrying out consumer-focused smart grid field research in Austin, including a smart grid demonstration project centered on Austin’s Mueller community.

“In Austin, we know first hand the impact the MCC and SEMATECH consortia had on the semiconductor and information technology sectors,” said Bert Haskell, Pecan Street Project technology director and a former vice president of consumer electronics research for the MCC consortium. “Done right, consortium research can establish technology roadmaps that promote robust competition benefitting companies and consumers alike. Pecan Street Project’s research team and our member companies are committed to creating the same types of advances in energy.”

In addition to participating in and guiding Pecan Street Project’s smart grid applied research, Industry Advisory Council members are helping design the technical specifications for the organization’s Home Research Laboratory. To be located across the street from Mueller’s iconic air traffic control tower, the Home Research Laboratory will serve as a smart grid interoperability testing facility that is connected to NREL’s Golden, CO research facilities. It is currently in development, with groundbreaking set for September 2011 and opening scheduled for April 2012.

 

About Pecan Street Project Industry Advisory Council Member Companies

Best Buy Co., Inc. – Best Buy is a leading multi-channel global retailer and developer of technology products and services, helping deliver the technology solutions that enable easy access to people, knowledge, ideas and fun. The company is also committed to developing and implementing business strategies that bring sustainable technology solutions to consumers and communities.

“Best Buy is sharply focused on the role our Blue Shirts and Geek Squad Agents can play to help consumers understand how to own, use, and maintain energy efficient technologies,” said Kristen Bowring, senior director, new business customer solutions group, Best Buy. “Our participation in the Pecan Street Project Industry Advisory Council is yet another way Best Buy continues to bring the knowledge and expertise of our employees, our stores, and our brands forward to help spark adoption and use of smart grid technologies by consumers.”

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Freescale – Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com

“Freescale plans to use the findings from the Pecan Street Project Industry Advisory Council to drive our semiconductor and software roadmap in the important smart energy segment,” said Glen Burchers, director of global marketing for Freescale’s consumer electronics and industrial market solutions. “This group includes the heavyweights in the fast growing smart energy market, and Freescale is proud to be part of it.”

Contact: Andy North, corporate and microcontroller public relations, Freescale, 512-996-4418.

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Intel – Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.

“Pecan Street Project represents a unique opportunity for technology companies, utilities, government labs and academia to collaborate on energy solutions for the 21st century,” said Lorie Wigle, general manager, Intel Eco-Technology.  “This collaboration offers great potential for testing and evolving solutions that will optimize the grid, benefit the environment, empower consumers to manage their energy usage and create new private sector commercial opportunities.”

Contact:  Christine Dotts, Intel, 480-554-7959, christine.dotts@intel.com.

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Landis+Gyr – Landis+Gyr is the leading global provider of integrated energy management products and offers a combined portfolio of advanced metering and smart grid automation solutions to utilities. With annualized sales of more than US$1.5 billion, Landis+Gyr operates in over 30 countries across five continents, and employs 5,000 people with the sole mission of helping the world manage energy better.

“As a member of the Austin and greater Texas community, Landis+Gyr is proud to participate with Pecan Street Project as an Industry Advisory Council member,” said Michelle Mindala-Freeman, Landis+Gyr VP of Strategy and Brand. “We believe that growing consumer understanding of energy is key to unleashing the full potential of the smart grid.  The Pecan Street Project demonstration project will help us all better quantify consumer benefits of smart grid technology and provide insights to further enhance consumer education, outreach and adoption.”

Contact:  Vicki Trees, director, Marketing Communications North America, Landis+Gyr, 218-562-3850, vicki.trees@landisgyr.com.

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LG – LG Electronics USA Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, Inc., a global leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications. In the United States, LG Electronics sells a range of stylish and innovative home entertainment products, mobile phones, home appliances, commercial displays, air conditioning systems and solar energy solutions, all under LG’s “Life’s Good” marketing theme. www.LG.com.

“In addition to our leadership in energy-efficient smart appliances, LG Electronics is developing renewable energy technologies and deploying environmental energy businesses to help address global climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. Nandhu Nandhakumar, senior vice president, advanced technology LG Electronics. “We expect to gain valuable insights from Pecan Street Project’s home energy research that will further enhance our innovation efforts in developing more energy-efficient products and services, from consumer electronics to home appliances to air conditioning systems.”

Contact: John Taylor, vice president, public affairs and communications, LG Electronics USA, Inc., (847) 941-8181, john.taylor@lge.com

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Sony Corporation – Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world.  Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $87 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011.  http://www.sony.net/

“Sony is studying a customer centric home energy management solution based on a differentiated user experience that allows consumers to see and manage energy usage which provide greater customer value,” said Rajiv Rainier, general manager and executive director at Sony Electronics Inc. “Sony is aligned with the Pecan Street Project vision and is actively participating as an Industry Advisory Council member to encourage and support the organization’s goals and objectives.”

Contact: Keita Sanekata, Sony, Keita.Sanekata@am.sony.com or Ranson Burkette, Sony, Ranson.Burkette@am.sony.com.

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Texas Gas Service – Texas Gas Service, a division of ONEOK, is based in Austin and is the third largest natural gas utility in Texas, serving more than 600,000 customers, including the metropolitan areas of Austin and El Paso.  ONEOK (NYSE:OKE), is a diversified energy company and among the largest natural gas distributors in the United States, serving more than 2 million customers in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.

“Texas Gas Service is committed to meeting the growing needs of Austin’s environmentally conscious consumers,” said Kari French, Texas Gas Service president. “As a member of the Industry Advisory Council, we hope to further demonstrate that natural gas has a strong role to play in improving home energy management.”

Contact: Lori Moreno, communications manager, Texas Gas Service, 512-370-8340, lmoreno@txgas.com.

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About Pecan Street Project Inc.

Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Project Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) smart grid and clean energy research and development organization.  Incorporated in 2009, the organization’s board includes representatives from The University of Texas, Austin Energy, Environmental Defense Fund, the Austin Technology Incubator, the City of Austin and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Pecan Street Project began operations through seed funding from The University of Texas. Since then, the organization has provided over $3 million in direct funding to UT researchers and students.  In September 2009, it received a grant from the Capital Area Council of Governments through an award from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. In November 2009, the organization received a U.S. Department of Energy stimulus award for a Smart Grid Demonstration Project at Austin’s Mueller community. In November 2010, it received an award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to research the impact of energy efficiency retrofits in older homes.

In March 2010, it released a report of recommendations for how to spur energy system advancements. The recommendations were the product of joint industry-university-utility-public sector working groups. For more information, visit www.pecanstreetproject.org.

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