Community News and Information
Updated: 9 hours 45 min ago
The U.S. transmission network is old. More than half of the country’s high voltage transmission lines have been in service for 25 years or longer. However, there are several new technologies that could help correct its inadequacies and enable it to meet 21st century demands. Click to learn about them.
Solar may seem like a threat utilities don’t really need to worry about quite yet, if ever in areas that don’t get a lot of sun and costs are high. But recent developments in the solar and energy storage industries could mean the time when today’s utility customers start generating their own power is coming soon.
The city of Boulder is finding out that divorcing electric service provider Xcel could become a lot harder than anticipated. While no one expected the city’s effort to set up its own municipal electric utility would be carefree and painless, escalating costs alone could be a make or break obstacle.
FERC told a Senate subcommittee last week that EPA’s Clean Power Plan wouldn’t harm the reliability of the transmission grid. But it turns out comments from FERC commissioners left room for interpretation. Click to learn about two different points of view.
One smart way utilities can prepare for inevitable changes ahead is to significantly upgrade their day-to-day operations. And a smart way to do that is with a business workflow solution. Learn how to pick the right one with our new (free) infographic.
Utilities have sought to expand digital migration, the movement of customer interactions away from traditional channels and into the digital space. Booz Allen has identified three areas of strategy to help utilities originate and expand their digital portfolios, attract customers to these digital offerings, and improve each interaction.
Drawing on NECEC’s work on the Massachusetts Grid Modernization Steering Committee and other grid modernization efforts in the Northeast, this paper examines the benefits of grid modernization and a 21st century electricity system and the policy and regulatory framework needed to advance them.
Con Edison has worked to beef up its overhead power delivery system to ensure that outage numbers are down and that fewer customers are affected. The utility says its $1 billion investment has been more than worth it considering the results.
This week’s collection of smart grid project and development news is a good example of how global the smart grid initiative really is. Read about EnerNOC’s Switzerland project, ABB’s transmission win in the UK, Cyan’s partnership to open up the Sub-Saharan African market and more stories.
A new survey from GE’s Digital Energy business says millions of Americans are so concerned and frustrated with power outages they would pay more on their monthly power bill if it would ensure a more reliable grid. Click for details and other highlights from GE’s Grid Resilience Survey.
Electric utilities often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, and cybersecurity is a good example. If they share security problems they risk damaging their stock prices or attracting more attention from hackers. If they don’t share, other utilities could be at risk. But changes in an automated data sharing program could give them some much needed breathing room.
While the numbers make it clear that President Obama’s goal of one million plug-in electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 won’t be met, that’s no reason for disappointment. As Pete Danko of Breaking Energy found, plug-in EV sales are growing at an astonishing rate… if more slowly than many had expected.
Will you soon be asked to share your utility communications network? (With a water department for instance)
While some may initially balk at the idea of sharing utility communications networks with another operation, such as a water department, both can benefit tremendously from sharing a network and information. Click to read about a private electric utility and a city water department that plan to do just that. It’s said to be the first collaboration of its kind.
While superstorm Sandy is long gone, its harsh lessons remain fresh for the states affected by the devastation. New York recently funded seven research projects, most of them related to technologies for grid resilience, outage mitigation and improved energy efficiency, including microgrids.
Canadian utility SaskPower was ordered to replace all smart meters it installed after eight minor fires were linked to the meters, despite protests from the meter maker that their devices did not cause them. And lawmakers in Ontario want Toronto Hydro and Hydro One to remove smart meters they deployed. Click for story details and let us know what you think about those decisions.
Ready for another twist in the discussion about what the utility of the future should or could be like? Jon Wellinghoff, former FERC chairman, and James Tong, strategy VP at Clean Power Finance, recommend taking grid operations out of utilities’ hands. Read on to find out why they believe it would significantly benefit the public, and how it could benefit utilities as well.
Industry events and conferences can help you stay on top of industry trends and technologies and make important contacts. Our calendar is loaded with upcoming events, with links for further details. And be sure to jump to page 2, where you can see the conferences Smart Grid News Chief Analyst Jesse Berst will be attending.
One thing troubling the electric vehicle landscape has been the absence of standards to allow for smart charging. Now, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Electric Power Research Institute and eight car manufacturers, that much needed standard should be on the way.
Increasing numbers of utilities are adopting behavioral programs to encourage energy efficiency. Even so, many wonder if the effects of those programs will last… if customers will stick with them once the newness wears off. Opower offers evidence that customer interest will remain, and could grow.
Those consumer gadgets that make life more convenient, such as sprinkler controllers or garage door openers, don’t sound dangerous. But they could be. Read the story to learn what a security professional has to say about how those and other IoT consumer devices could attract hackers who want to get at smart meter data.