Today in Cleantech

Utilities need help putting their smart grid plans together, and IBM is ready to help out — with its list of preferred partners. Big Blue has announced a new smart grid communications service for utilities, offering to hand-hold them through the process, from design to implementation and managing ongoing operations. IBM’s partners include Cisco, Itron, Juniper Networks, Landis+Gyr, Motorola, RuggedCom, Sensus and Trilliant. At the same time, Cisco — part of IBM’s partner list — says it wants to organize large sections of the smart grid under its own networking and management umbrella, and potential competitors like Siemens and General Electric could be angling for similar “master control” roles. It’s all part of a growing smart grid services market that Pike Research predicts will zoom from $470 million this year to $4.3 billion by 2015.