AT&T and Petra Solar Team to Offer Smart Grid Solar System Technology

Combining the benefits of Petra Solar's smart grid and renewable energy technology with AT&T's wireless network enables utilities to improve power quality and grid reliability

Dallas, Texas, July 20, 2010
newsrelease


AT&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. 

Today’s 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 

For more information on AT&T’s smart grid solutions, visit www.att.com/utilities

*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.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T |DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.  This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATTNews. Find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ATT to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at www.Facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz  to discover more about our small business services. 

About Petra Solar:
Petra Solar, founded in 2006 by CEO and President, Dr. Kuran, is the pioneer of SunWave™ systems, a grid-tied, pole-mounted, distributed solar generation system. The SunWave system combines solar energy with smart-grid communications and electric grid enhancement functions to create a comprehensive utility grade solution for utilities.  Less than three years since the founding, Petra Solar shifted rapidly from “start-up to ramp-up” status after signing its first commercial contract for $200 million with PSE&G, last July. 

Investors have demonstrated confidence in Petra Solar, providing $54 million in private capital since 2007.  Petra Solar is using the money to grow the company and is committed to growing jobs locally.  By creating its own R&D and manufacturing supply chain, the company has grown ten-fold in just over a year. For more information about Petra Solar visit www.petrasolar.com

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