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Ontario Minister of Energy Awards Smart Grid Funding to dTechs


TORONTO – Thursday, June 8, 2012– Mr. Roger Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of dTechs, (dTechs epm Ltd.) is pleased to announce that dTechs has been awarded Smart Grid Funding for its project with Oakville Hydro, a mid-sized Ontario electric distribution utility.


The Oakville Hydro project consists of the installation of 225 high resolution wireless meters on the medium voltage supply monitoring approximately 16,000 customer endpoints in Oakville, Ontario. dTechs monitoring allows for full system monitoring of power usage.


The dTechs MeterSuite is an advanced wireless metering system created to help electric distribution utilities directly address grid management, outage management, line-loss reduction and power theft. The dTechs MeterSuite finds, immediately notifies and directs Utilities to the location of system outages and atypical consumption. This includes electricity theft, unsafe high consumption and poor infrastructure areas (e.g. aged transformer equipment and poor distribution lines). The dTechs metering hardware installs quickly and seamlessly in the grid, measuring flow in real time at the most efficient location (medium voltage).


The Smart Grid Fund provides targeted financial support to Ontario-based demonstration projects that test, develop and bring to market the next generation of smart grid solutions. The Ministry of Energy ran a thorough competition for the funds over the past year, and after significant due diligence on dTechs, its technology and its proposed project, the Minister of Energy, the Honourable Chris Bentley, announced the decision today at MaRS.  http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2012/06/smart-grid-projects.html


“Oakville Hydro is one of the industry leaders in grid visibility, and we are excited to enhance that visibility and provide what will be the new expected norm of real time performance of the distribution grid,” commented Mr. Morrison. “The significant due diligence performed by the province and their auditors provides tremendous credibility to dTechs customers and investors for the growth of dTechs going forward.”

 

About dTechs

 

dTechs is a Canadian company that enables electric utilities to monitor their entire distribution grid, allowing for the detection, monitoring and preventing of energy losses, whether they are the result of technical loss or non-technical loss. The system is a fully proven U.S. and Canadian process patented Smart Grid metering solution.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Roger Morrison, CEO

(289) 674-7474

dTechs

1.877.880.1548

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www.dtechsepm.com

 

dTechs Presents at 2012 CleanTech Forum in San Francisco

Cleantech

dTechs to attend and present at the 2012 CleanTech Forum held in San Francisco from March 26th to the 29th. This event is touted as the premier CleanTech event globally and dTechs has been named as one of the top 20 most promising Cleantech companies in the world (2012).

 

dTechs featured in Cool Companies Magazine

Cool Companies Magazine

 

Giving Rise To Excellence

Calgary Herald, by Valerie Berenyi January 14, 2009


Much like baking a fine loaf of bread, there's a rich mix of ingredients giving rise to a culture of innovation in Calgary.

When the Herald set out to identify some of the top ideas circulating in the city-- which, like a warm, yeasty dough, quickly expanded to the eight you'll read about shortly --it became necessary to find out why Calgary is such a hotbed of innovation.

We talked to people who work with creators of all kinds, day in and day out, for some insights into how this foothills city of just over one million people seems to have become an incubator for hatching new ideas, research, businesses and products.

"There's enormous talent here for the size of our population," says David Mitchell.

Zapping Grow Ops (Wireless)

Since marijuana grow operations suck a lot of illegal power, a former sergeant on a police drug unit hit on the idea of developing a special, wireless meter that detects electricity theft--and busts drug crime in the process.

After a 20-year career that included attending more than 800 grow ops and becoming a court expert on marijuana propagation, Roger Morrison left the Calgary Police Service in 2007 to found dTechs, a small high-tech company.

"As a drug sergeant I was trying to find a better way to do things and I always treated electricity like water," says Morrison. "It's simply flowing and you should be able to somehow detect where it's flowing to and the amount being used."

A primary electrical line typically feeds eight to 10 transformers, each in turn sending power to eight to 10 houses through the electrical meters we're all familiar with. They record a household's legal electrical use. But marijuana grow operators steal electricity by tapping the lines before they reach the meters.

An estimated $1.5 billion of electricity is stolen every year in Canada to power about 100,000 grow ops, 10,000 of which are in Alberta, Morrison says.

The dTechs technology is an electricity grid surveillance tool that works by detecting and reporting atypical consumption between the primary power line and the transformers.

If an excessive power draw is noted, the utility company is immediately notified and its workers can then use dTechs's infrared technology to pinpoint the culprit within minutes.

In May, Morrison tested the system in 927 homes in the Chestermere area, working with the local utility and police. Four marijuana grow ops were busted and $750,000 worth of packaged marijuana and plants were seized.

Although dTechs is being marketed to utility companies to help them save money, stamping out organized crime benefits us all, says Morrison. "Marijuana is basically the free ATM of organized crime. The reason we have large amounts of cocaine, meth and ecstasy is because it's seeded by marijuana money."

Morrison has patented the dTechs wireless meter, is in his first round of financing and has two final production unit tests in the works.

 

Safer Communities for Canadians, Innovative New Technology to Locate Marijuana Grow Operations

More than $750,000.00 worth of potent marijuana plants and approximately 70 pounds of packaged marijuana were discovered in Chestermere, Alberta homes, thanks to technology created by Calgary-based dTechs epm Ltd (dTechs). A total of four homes with marijuana grow operations in an area of over 900 homes were located with the new dTechs technology used in testing efforts in collaboration with the local utility, the RCMP, and the Calgary Police Service.

dTechs, founded by a former Calgary Police Service Drug Sergeant, announced today that it has completed and tested a specially developed wireless electrical meter suite which detects and reports excessive use of electricity. Excessive electricity use is often coincident with electricity theft, which in many cases is the result of a marijuana grow operation along the line.

This is the full system test for the innovative technology, following a ‘proof of concept’ test completed in 2007 with another Utility Company (unnamed due to contractual obligations) where nine marijuana grow operations were located in a residential area of 603 homes.

“We are extremely pleased with our results and after three years of hard work on this project, we have a great sense of achievement,” said Roger Morrison, President and Founder of dTechs

Morrison developed the high-resolution wireless primary-metering system as a result of his policing career, which involved dismantling marijuana grow operations. “I became frustrated with the vast number of organized crime grow operations in Canada and the lack of any proven or economical technology to combat them on a large scale,” added Morrison.

This recent testing effort involved the monitoring and assessment of a large area in the Chestermere area. Only nine test points each with the dTechs meter were required to narrow down and close in on the four marijuana grow operations; which were previously undetected in a total of 927 homes.

Electricity theft is estimated to exceed $1 billion per year in Canada, leaving law abiding utility customers to pay for this power. The implementation of smarter grid technologies nationwide would result in extensive savings to electrical consumers.

The dTechs Meter Suite is designed to be permanently deployed in order to fill a gap in electricity distribution monitoring which presently exists between the meter on your home and the substation many kilometers of wire away. This new technology would now allow public utilities companies to accurately and cost-effectively monitor the use of electrical power.

The dTechs Meter Suite can locate stolen power and inefficient power lines, in addition to providing immediate outage notification and power forecasting capabilities.

“The overall societal aspects of this technology are endless. It can help locate electrical theft, stop marijuana grow operations, and reduce unbilled electricity loss; which will improve the operating efficiency of public utilities. The impacts related to public safety, organized crime issues and electrical-efficiency potential are unprecedented,”

 

 

Court ruling backs Calgary police use of Enmax to spy on suspected grow-op

By Jason van Rassel And Janice Tibbetts, Calgary Herald

Local law enforcement agencies are applauding a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that allowed Calgary police to recruit a power company to monitor a customer's electrical use for evidence he was growing marijuana.

In a sharply divided decision, the court split into three camps on whether it violates a consumer's constitutional right to privacy to force commercial service providers to help out police when they do not have search warrants.

"The Constitution does not cloak the home in an impenetrable veil of privacy," Justice Marie Deschamps wrote in the lead opinion.

"To expect such protection would not only be impractical, it would also be unreasonable."

The latest decision overturns an Alberta Court of Appeal victory for Daniel Gomboc and restores his earlier convictions for growing and selling marijuana.

Calgary police, while investigating another matter in Gomboc's neighbourhood in 2004, detected the smell of a marijuana grow operation and noticed condensation on his windows and moisture pouring from ice-caked vents. Unlike other homes nearby, there was no snow on his roof.

The police asked Enmax, Gomboc's power supplier, to install a digital recording ammeter to obtain a detailed printout of five days of power consumption at his home. The officers used the revealing information to obtain a search warrant.

Police seized 165 kilograms of bulk marijuana and another 206 grams of processed, bagged marijuana. Gomboc was later convicted of growing and trafficking pot.

"Generally speaking, we're always pleased to have more tools at our disposal to deal with these sorts of crime," said Candace Cook, a spokeswoman for Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams, an umbrella agency combining 400 investigators from municipal police, RCMP and Alberta Sheriffs who target serious and organized crime.

At the time Gomboc's home was raided, the majority of local grow ops were investigated by the Calgary police drug unit.

A former sergeant involved in the Gomboc case who provided evidence at the original trial said the ruling eliminates unnecessary hurdles for police.

"I was extremely pleased I could be part of a Supreme Court decision that was in favour of police and common sense," said Roger Morrison.

Morrison left the Calgary police in 2007 to found dTechs, a high-tech company that developed a wireless meter that can detect excessive power use by grow ops.

However, there was a strong split in the court.

In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Morris Fish warned the court against taking an "incremental but ominous step toward the erosion of the right to privacy."

The two judges, describing the home "as the most private of dwellings," concluded that "a reasonable person" would not expect that details of electricity use, which can detect such things as when a person routinely goes to bed and does chores, should be handed over to police without a judge's prior approval.

"When we subscribe for cable services, we do not surrender our expectation of privacy in respect of what we access on the Internet, what we watch on our television sets, what we listen to on our radios, or what we send and receive by e-mail on our computers," wrote the dissenting judges.

"Likewise, when we subscribe for public services, we do not authorize the police to conscript the utilities concerned to enter our homes, physically or electronically, for the purpose of pursuing their criminal investigations without prior judicial authorization."

In a separate but concurring opinion, three judges ruled against Gomboc -- but only on grounds that there is a regulation in Alberta that permits power consumers to request confidentiality of their information and Gomboc "made no such request."

One of the lawyers who represented Gomboc said consumers should familiarize themselves with the opt-out provisions in Alberta's regulations if they want to protect their privacy.

"Utility providers have the ability and the right -- unless you tell them not to -- to give that information over to police without a warrant," said David Andrews, who argued the case with co-counsel Charlie Stewart.

But Morrison said allowing police to access power consumption information through utilities without a warrant can protect the privacy of innocent consumers.

Homes that exhibit many telltale signs of having a grow op are sometimes eliminated from suspicion once police are able to see their power consumption isn't excessive, Morrison explained.

If the courts required police to get a warrant for power records, investigators would likely proceed directly to the more invasive step of obtaining a search warrant, said Morrison.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

 

   

Grow ops sprout in upscale 'burbs

Massive drug operations springing up under noses of unsuspecting residents.

Click here for Article

 

 

Marijuana grow-op industry hits Manitoba in big way

The multibillion-dollar marijuana growing industry in Canada has infiltrated Manitoba in a big way, as police say they are seeing much more sophisticated commercial operations and criminal gangs from out of province moving in.

Click here for Article