Published August 20, 2013
Volume 21, Number 8

Schneider Electric Goal: Help Customers Decrease Power Consumption   
Company Sparks Arrival in Hacienda with New EV Charging Station Installations

Schneider Electric’s Ryan Whitehorn stands with a newly-installed
EV charging station.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Headquartered in France and traded on the Paris Stock Exchange, Schneider Electric reported $24 billion in sales in 2012 and has 140,000-plus employees in more than 100 countries. The company’s new 13,000-square-foot Hacienda office is a satellite facility for two business groups, Power Management and Building Management, previously located elsewhere in Pleasanton and Burlingame, respectively. Together the two groups have a combined total of approximately 80 employees, roughly 35 of whom occupy the facility on a daily basis. The local workforce includes sales representatives, project managers, quotation specialists, and field project managers.

According to Ryan Whitehorn, Schneider Electric Area Sales Manager for Northern California, the company’s overall goal, across all divisions, is to help customers decrease power consumption. “A 30 percent energy reduction is not unrealistic, based on our control strategies and the implementation of our solutions,” he maintains.

Building Management focuses primarily on automated control schemes for HVAC and other building systems like lighting and security, integrating them into a network that offers optimal performance and energy efficiency. Several current projects involve critical environments, such as the operating and procedure rooms at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and John Muir Medical Center.

The Power side encompasses systems and components like circuit breakers, panel boards, load centers, transformers, and controls for large-scale industrial applications—“anything from the plug behind the wall all the way back to the utility plant.” Customers range from data centers to water treatment and petrochemical plants to mining operations.

“Our power management strategies look at higher levels of energy use,” Whitehorn says. Sensors and other devices monitor daily events and equipment performance, feeding the information data into a central system. “The key is integrating all that data for better decision-making,” he emphasizes.

No sooner did Schneider Electric settle into its new quarters than it had a chance to put another facet of its expertise on display. In its parking lot at 5735 W. Las Positas Blvd. are charging stations for the first Toyota Scion iQ-EVs (electric vehicles) to populate City CarShare’s Hacienda-based fleet.   

As a global specialist in energy management, “focused on making energy safe, reliable, productive, efficient, and green,” Schneider Electric contributed the space and materials for the charging stations, which support the Toyota/City CarShare pilot program formally launched on August 13.

“This is a big deal for us,” remarks Whitehorn. “California tends to lead the way nationally when it comes to green power--solar, wind, the EV market—and we’re real excited to be a part of that.”

The City CarShare project is not the first high-profile opportunity for the energy management specialist to showcase its prowess in the charging station market. The company has been working with electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, providing and installing the power backbone for its superchargers at 200 locations around the country. To illustrate the utility of that initiative, Scott Day, Area Sales Manager, cites the example of a Tesla-owning friend who recently drove from Bakersfield to San Francisco, stopping for a 25-minute recharge at two strategically located stations, at Harris Ranch on I-5 and then at the outlet mall in Gilroy.

For more information, visit www.schneider-electric.com.

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