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Updated: 2 days 6 hours ago

Smart grid wins: new projects in energy storage, metering and more

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 21:34
Smart grid wins for this week include a new energy storage project for Stem, Silver Spring Networks’ customer engagement and energy efficiency deal with Consumers Energy, metering projects for Atos and GE and more project news.

Irish utility partners with Nest to offer free thermostats to new customers

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 21:28
Despite the substantial amount of debate and concern in energy industry circles over Google’s purchase of Nest and what it could mean for the future of utilities, an Irish utility has taken a different tack and partnered with the company to offer the smart thermostats free to new customers when they sign up.

NERC troubled about EPA Clean Power Plan impact on grid reliability

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 21:22
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation weighed in with its take on EPA’s much-debated Clean Power Plan in a reliability assessment released this week. The bottom line: more analysis is needed to verify that the plan’s assumptions and targets can be successfully carried out in the time frame the plan proposes.

Scotland’s wind farms pumped out more power than the country needs

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 21:03
Scotland has had very aggressive smart grid and renewable energy programs for some time, and it seems to be paying off. In September, the country’s wind farms provided more power than was needed to keep the lights on in every Scottish home.

Schneider, Awesense tackle distribution grid losses

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 20:54
Transmission and distribution grid power losses do more than affect grid reliability. As utilities know, they cost money. Schneider Electric and Awesense are working together to develop solutions to remedy the problems of lost power and lost revenue. Click for details.

Are microgrids ready for prime time? Not until they’re standardized, ORNL says

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 20:45
Yes, microgrids are a hot topic. And some eastern states have microgrid initiatives in place as a strategy to reduce the impact of increasingly severe weather. But a researcher at a DOE national lab says microgrids need to be standardized before they can be truly compatible with main grids and each other. Read about what the lab is doing to achieve that.

VC funding, cybersecurity and more news from smart grid markets

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 18:28
This week’s smart grid markets roundup offers a look at a variety of sectors ranging from cybersecurity and managed services to venture capital funding and biopower. The outlook is generally good, and notably so for managed services and biopower.

Siemens wants more acquisitions to support its smart grid sector growth

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 18:17
Siemens, already a dominant force in smart grid, has set its sights on more acquisitions as part of its strategy to achieve a larger presence in the software side of the equation. Read the story to learn about some of the company’s plans and its focus on digitalization.

Utilities: Is it finally time to institute pre-payment?

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 18:09
Prepaying for electricity is common and popular in several parts of the world, but hasn’t caught on in North America – even though many consumers, such as transient workers and college students – would prefer it. Is it time for utilities and regulators to take a closer look and consider a prepayment option?

Study says yes, the smart water market will (finally) grow

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 19:38
Despite disappointing adoption rates in recent years, the smart water market will accelerate, according to a new study. Demand for more efficient management and distribution of increasingly scarce resources and other drivers will require the market to grow. Click for details on the market and the areas where growth is anticipated.

MIT thinks it has the answer for a cheaper, longer-lasting EV battery

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 19:30
Battery technology advances seem to be coming faster all the time as scientists and researchers put their own spins on ways to improve battery performance. Now, a team from MIT says it has come up with a lithium battery that could be transformational in terms of cost and performance for electric cars.

Switch utilities to save money? Most C&I customers aren’t interested

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 19:11
While many, if not most, consumers may shop around for the best prices, most commercial and industrial customers aren’t likely to switch electric utilities to shave money off their power bill. A survey from Frost & Sullivan says C&I customers think other things are more important.

DOE’s new Lab-Corps to bring clean energy technologies to market faster

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 21:30
DOE has committed to a pilot program to better train its national laboratory researchers to take their work in clean energy technologies to the marketplace faster. Click for details on the technology accelerator and training program and the anticipated results.

Smart grid wins: a quick look at some of the latest projects

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 21:17
The smart grid sector never seems to slow down. New projects and developments seem to emerge constantly. In this week’s smart grid wins, you can read about a new reliability project with GE and Georgia Power and additional news in transmission and EV charging, as well as an award for Gridco Systems.

A break for utilities? EPA to reconsider Clean Power Plan

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 21:10
EPA’s Clean Power plan may change as a result of responses the agency received during its public comment period. There was enough concern regarding the impact on grid reliability and the high cost of compliance that the agency is asking for additional comments on specific parts of the plan.

Alstom to advance microgrid work in Philadelphia

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 20:45
Microgrids are gaining a higher profile in conversations about improving the electric grid. Now Alstom and its partners will research and design a demonstration of advanced microgrid technology at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard that will combine several smart grid technologies. Click for details on what the project will entail.

Florida Power & Light: Taking intelligence to the edge of the network

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 20:30
Every once in a while an announcement is more than just an announcement. And so it is with a recent one from FP&L. Read about the forward-thinking utility’s decision to employ distributed intelligence to improve reliability and reduce outages and associated costs. We consider it a tipping point.

Utilities agree on tough times ahead (but disagree on the future of transmission)

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 20:18
Utilities agree they will face strong competitors as the U.S. works to expand and upgrade the electric grid. But they certainly don’t agree on the future of transmission and how much change will occur over the next 10 years.

Smart grid markets: What the analysts say about EVs, metering and more

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:12
Plug-in EVs are expected to account for 2.4% of the world’s light-duty vehicles in less than 10 years and the global DR management system market is forecast to almost quadruple in about five years. Those are just a couple examples from this week’s smart grid market research roundup.

PSE&G’s triple play grid resilience strategy

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:04
In the two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey’s largest utility performed more than two million power restorations. While it is said to be a record, it is not one Public Service Gas and Electric cares to repeat. Read about the utility’s extensive upgrade and strengthening work in infrastructure, communications and logistics.