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Updated: 10 hours 20 min ago

4 grid breakthroughs utilities need to know about (including one for smartphones)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 16:50
Yes, utilities get criticized for failing to move quickly enough on new innovations and technologies. But as guest author Lisa Wood contends, utilities have already adopted what can only be described as breakthrough innovations in several areas.

The grid attack that could kill 9 out of 10 Americans (and North Korea is capable)

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 16:41
Not that utilities need anything else to worry about with cyber and physical security issues as critical concerns among others. But… a Congressional hearing found something even more alarming: the catastrophic and deadly results of an electromagnetic pulse attack.

Utilities: Your coming CoLo SoMoLo world and how to adapt (it's important!)

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 16:19
Consumers have changed… a lot. And they expect the companies they buy products and services from to adapt and change too. Most companies are responding to what the ‘new’ ultra-connected consumer wants, but many electric utilities have been slow to react. Click to read why it’s important that they do.

Ignore Volt/VAR optimization at your peril. Regulators may soon require it.

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 16:12
Volt/VAR optimization appears finally to be coming into its own and attracting more interest from utilities that want to cut power losses. Guest contributor Jeremy Wilson explains why it’s a very good idea, particularly in a time of changing regulatory policy toward energy efficiency initiatives.

Smart grid wins: what a big week for smart grid projects, partnerships and more

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 16:02
There’s a bit of everything in this week’s smart grid wins roundup, with projects ranging from metering to grid hardening and microgrids to new partnerships for GE and Ventyx, an acquisition for Silver Spring Networks and a new funding opportunity from the Energy Department.

New infographic highlights the ultimate AMI security -- get a copy now

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 18:45
How can utilities make sure they're asking the right questions when it comes to protecting smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure systems? A compelling new infographic from Elster Solutions will point you in the right direction. Find out how to get your free copy.

Now Honda wants to put utilities out of business? Its new home makes more energy than it uses

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 17:22
Net zero energy buildings are one thing. But Honda is taking the concept a step further. Its smart home combines net zero energy housing, electric vehicle transportation and rooftop solar to create more energy than it uses. Click for details on the project and the technologies involved.

Are utilities failing at restoration? Experts chide post-Sandy efforts (though I disagree)

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 16:49
Brutal storms from Hurricane Sandy on have caused billions of dollars in damage. Lives have been lost, and millions of customers lost power for days. As a result, utilities stand accused of not doing enough about outage restoration. Three guest authors offer an excellent explanation of the issue and its challenges, as well as recommendations for what utilities can do to mitigate outage damage and duration.

Aging grid assets? How to know what equipment to replace and when

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 17:03
Of course it would be great to know when to replace equipment before it fails. Aging infrastructure is a major concern for utilities, some say their most pressing challenge. Shawn Lyndon of Ventyx sheds light on how valuable asset health analytics can be for utilities facing aging equipment replacement.

Maui and Massachusetts stave off latest attempts to block smart meters

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 16:56
Score one for utilities in the ongoing anti-smart meter backlash saga. A study conducted as part of a Maui smart grid pilot determined that radiation levels from smart meters are far less than those from cell phones, and the Worcester, MA, city council rejected a push to postpone National Grid’s smart meter pilot program because of privacy and health concerns.

Utilities: Your monopoly days are numbered. (Yes, we've heard this before, but this time...)

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 16:44
The end of the regulated utility model has been predicted for some time, and with ever increasing frequency. You may or may not agree it’s coming anytime soon if at all. But guest author Dick Munson’s argument that disruptive innovation is on its way is definitely worth reading.

Why your technical staff needs to pay attention to the SGIP meeting happening now

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 18:50
The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel’s first Members Meeting is taking place now, and utilities would do well to follow the results. Why? Because the meeting could indicate smart grid areas where new standards and approaches to grid interoperability will come. Read the preview for more details on what to be watching for.

Utilities: Give these 3 answers when your regulator asks how you deal with theft

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 18:41
Energy theft is bad for everyone, and regulators are pushing utilities to do more to prevent it because losses from theft are subsidized by customers through higher billing rates. Guest author Kevin Mays points out three effective ways to minimize losses… and it’s not as hard as you might think.

Why GE's bid for Alstom Energy may be doomed. (Hint: The French don’t like Americans)

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 18:28
General Electric has put in a bid to buy Alstom Energy, but its chances for success look slim. French government ministers recently stepped in and told Alstom to seriously consider a rival bid from Germany’s Siemens. Click for details.

Why Europe badly needs a Super Grid (the U.S. too)

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 16:40
You’ve likely read about the possibility of a European Super Grid to solve the region’s energy security and other grid-related issues. Guest author Philippe Paelinck of Alstom takes a multi-faceted approach to explain what a super grid would mean and the challenges that need to be resolved for such a massive undertaking to succeed.

Smart grid wins: a full plate of projects, a utility merger and finance news

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 16:29
It’s been a big news week in the smart grid sector. Itron and Mitsubishi Electric partnered to deliver smart meters in Japan, a new energy storage technology testing and commercialization center opened in New York, and Exelon and Pepco Holdings agreed to combine the two companies. And that’s just a few highlights.

How can utilities survive distributed energy? Ernst & Young says it knows

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 16:21
If the tipping point where rooftop solar PV becomes cheaper than power from the grid, and many predict that will happen in 2020, how are utilities going to deal with it? Tough question. Ernst & Young says it has five strategies to help them manage the change.

Utilities: Why you may be negligent about your GIS (and a program that can help)

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 16:32
For many utilities, the value and benefits of Geospatial Information System data are underutilized. Click to find out what those benefits are and how to take full advantage of them through the Electric Power Research Institute’s IntelliGrid Immersion service.

Physical security for substations: Get started with these inexpensive ideas

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 16:22
Physical protection for substations has become a hot topic following a number of attacks and the consequences for an entire electric grid if even one was taken out. Several solutions have been suggested, many of them good ones. Guest author Ashley Walter offers four more recommendations that won’t break the bank.

Is New York ready to reinvent utilities? (They're talking that way)

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 16:14
New York’s Public Service Commission doesn’t just want to change a few regulations in its energy policy objectives. It wants to do a major overhaul of the state’s energy vision. Fortunately, the commission’s efforts could mean a brighter future for utilities.