Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Korean-based LSIS enters smart grid agreement with US firm SAI

Steve Rogerson
June 30, 2015
LSIS plans to enter the US power market through a partnership with a local producer of power distribution panels. The Korean company signed an MoU for cooperation with Switchboard Apparatus (SAI), a US-based power distribution panel manufacturer. Both companies also plan to cooperate in Korea’s smart grid technology such as advanced metering infrastructure for the US smart grid market.
The MoU was announced at the Korea-US Manufacturing Innovation Forum at the Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology.
“The US power distribution panel market is expected to increase in value from $50bn in 2013 to $83bn in 2020, as the US power distribution market is entering the replacement period for aged equipment,” said LSIS CTO Hak-Seong Lee. “We are certain that both companies can share growth with this advanced form of partnership by cooperating not only on technology development but also on sales activities.”
Founded in 1907, SAI is an intermediate-size power company with an annual sales turnover of around $30m, divided equally between US consumption and overseas markets. Its main customers include major data centres, hospitals and public institutions, while its major overseas markets include the Middle East and South America.
LSIS has been negotiating for joint business with SAI since last year and is jointly developing a power distribution panel that meets ANSI requirements, which is the basic condition for carrying out the business locally. The MoU stipulates that LSIS will provide key power devices such as the circuit breakers and switches of power distribution panels, while SAI will assemble these parts into final products and sell them, as well as providing additional services.
The partnership is expected to create a genuinely beneficial synergy as SAI will receive highly competitive power distribution devices in terms of price and quality, while LSIS will use SAI’s panels, which have acquired UL certification, a prerequisite for sales in the local market.
Both companies have agreed to carry out sales and marketing activities jointly to develop the reference sites together and share the information to increase the outcome of the long-time partnership.
“We are pleased to be a partner with a company equipped with sufficient global level competitiveness to provide the products at any time even when a customer demands specialised specifications according to their own schedule,” said SAI CEO Brad Bell. “Cooperation in power distribution panels is only the beginning, as we also plan to increase our market share together in the US power solutions market.”
• LSIS chairman and CEO Ja-kyun Koo is accelerating his global move to open up the future of smart energy centred on Korean technology in the Philippines, he announced in his keynote speech to the tenth Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) held by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila.
This year’s ACEF, the largest forum held by ADB on an annual basis, attracted 1200 participants including high-level policy makers in recycled energy and energy efficiency, business developers, investors and technical experts from more than 60 countries seeking challenges and opportunities in the clean energy sector.
In his speech, Koo emphasised the need for smart energy technology, including smart grid, as power efficiency has become an important issue in many fast-growing Asian countries.
“In line with the development of their economies, developing Asian countries are experiencing rapid population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation, as well as rapid growth,” he said. “For these countries, the management of ever increasing peak power demand will be an important challenge for maintaining this growth.”
Koo pointed out that there were two ways forward, either increasing the power supply or increasing the efficiency of the existing power infrastructure.
“What we need to do is diversify the energy sources and increase power efficiency in terms of economic and environmental factors,” he said. “Smart energy technology, which optimises energy usage by converging new and renewed energy, and energy storage systems, and the demand response to the existing power network, will be the clear alternative.”
Because many Asian countries consisted of mountainous and island terrain, Koo proposed energy self-sufficiency based on the micro-grid led by the Korean government as a new business model, and emphasised that smart energy would be the new driving force behind the economic development of Asian countries.
Since smart energy still faces many obstacles related to policy, regulation and business hegemony, Koo also encouraged the professionals attending the ACEF to take active steps towards government-private sector cooperation.