Cary, N.C., September 22, 2010 — ABB is expanding its Raleigh, North Carolina facility to include a technology center devoted to smart grid, known as the Smart Grid Center of Excellence.
ABB is making an initial investment of $10 million in the technology center.
The center will initially house several full-time dedicated ABB employees. These positions will be supported by the state of North Carolina, after the state’s Job Development Investment Grant committee recently approved grants for new engineering positions in Wake County.
“As the world’s largest supplier of power transmission and distribution systems, ABB has always been on the leading edge of power technology,” said Enrique Santacana, ABB region manager for North America. “This initiative reaffirms ABB’s commitment to the smart grid and positions us to play an even larger leadership role in its development and implementation.”
Santacana said ABB’s long history with the state played a key factor in Raleigh’s selection. “ABB has a positive, long-standing relationship with North Carolina, and Raleigh in particular,” he said. “The combination of North Carolina’s support for technology innovation, our great partnership with N.C. State University, the abundance of engineering talent, support from state officials, and the Triangle’s growing reputation as a hotbed of smart-grid activity make Raleigh the right place to make this investment.”
The Smart Grid Center of Excellence will include a testing and development laboratory, a verification center to certify customer solutions before deployment, and a demonstration center that will showcase ABB’s smart grid technologies and collaborative partnerships.
ABB will work closely with the FREEDM Systems Center, a strategic partner of ABB’s which is also based on Centennial Campus of N.C. State. The FREEDM Systems Center was established in 2008 by NSF to develop smart grid technology based on advanced power electronics and information technology.
“This is a very important development,” said Dr. Alex Huang, Progress Energy Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, FREEDM Systems Center. “This new initiative by ABB will further enhance our collaboration. We are excited that ABB has initiated this new Smart Grid Center of Excellence and we look forward to collaborating with ABB right here in our own backyard.”
ABB will operate this smart grid technology center, which ABB officials believe will enable collaboration and partnerships with several local entities in the power industry. This includes the FREEDM Center, local utilities such as Duke Energy and Progress Energy, and other local metering and communications companies.
The site is already home to the North America headquarters of ABB’s Power Products and Power Systems divisions as well as one of eight global corporate research centers that is focused on advanced power system technology.