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Updated: 13 hours 42 min ago

How managed services can smooth the path to grid modernization

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 15:05
They aren't for every utility, but for those overwhelmed by the risks and costs associated with making the jump to a smart grid, managed services may be the right solution. What exactly are they – and how do you know if they make sense for your utility? Click for a terrific primer from Josh Wepman of Leidos that walks you through the pros and cons of smart grid managed services.

Why smart grids need smart inverters (and where to find them)

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 17:49
Smart inverters are essential if rooftop solar is to be effectively and safely connected to the grid, and utilities and others are clamoring for them. They’re already here, so what’s the hangup? Standards and testing protocols, or rather, their absence. We share updates on some of the organizations working to clear that bottleneck.

How the smart grid will affect building owners

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 17:35
There are a lot of smart buildings, thanks primarily to the capabilities of building automation systems. The next step? Integrating smart buildings into the smart grid. We share guidelines intended for building owners and their consultants who are negotiating the transition.

Smart grid 101: Smart grid benefits for consumers

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 17:29
The benefits of smart grid are enormous, but they’re not always communicated well to consumers. Click for some useful explanations and facts that can help utilities do a better job of getting the message across to their customers.

Keeping the lights on and more in this week’s Smart Grid Wins

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 16:58
From metering and geothermal projects to transmission, there’s quite a variety of projects and developments in this week’s Smart Grid Wins. And don’t miss the piece on EnerNOC’s efforts to keep the power on in several states where extreme cold has spiked demand.

Companies to Watch 2014: It's time to nominate this year's smart grid superstars

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 14:31
Last year more than 12,000 votes were cast in our Companies to Watch finale. Can we top that this year? Let's find out! Today we're kicking off our fifth annual competition where savvy Smart Grid News readers nominate companies they believe will be 2014's smart grid superstars.

Smart grid customer engagement: Lessons from Denmark

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 18:02
It’s often said electricity customers only care about costs and aren’t really motivated by anything else. But, surprise, a new smart grid demonstration project in Denmark is proving otherwise. Project managers are finding money isn’t the only motivator: many end-users want better home energy management technology, not just cheap power.

Dumb people screw up smart meters

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 17:54
Smart meters have been blamed for everything from invasion of privacy to causing health problems. And they’ve also been criticized for causing enormous billing errors. But is it really a meter issue when bills are horribly wrong? We think not. Click to find out why.

Elster strategic overview: Playing well with others

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 17:30
With a new president at the helm and a recently revamped strategy, Elster has been making serious moves to step up its game. SGN Chief Analyst Jesse Berst decided it was the perfect time to talk with President Mark Fronmuller about where Elster wants to go and how it plans to get there.

We’re not doing enough about security: But what SHOULD we do?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 17:07
Regulators, standards organizations and many more have been chewing on utilities for not making enough headway on cybersecurity and physical security for the grid and their own operations. But what should we do to ensure a more secure smart grid future? That’s the big question our guest authors tackle in the second installment of our Next Next Thing article series. And they’ve got a lot to say.

Really? Power New York 100% with renewables?

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 18:05
Whether you believe renewables can power the world or see the very idea as some crazed fantasy, supporters continue relentlessly with their campaign to bring more and more renewable power online. They’re just scaling it down a bit. Read the story to learn about just such an effort to make New York all-renewables powered by 2030.

Net metering controversy: How to calculate the true value of solar

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 17:59
The rooftop solar-net metering battle roars on but there is an effort underway in Minnesota to come up with a method that will establish a fair value for customer-provided solar power. With any luck at all, it could give a nudge toward a sorely needed consensus. Click for details.

The 3 most important words for 2014 plus 24 more (Hint: "as-a-service")

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 17:33
A very engaging list of 25 game-changing trends has been released that should very much interest utilities. Why? Because many of the trends, diverse as they are, closely relate to utility operations – and because they offer clear indicators of what customers are coming to expect from their energy providers.

Top 10 U.S. hotspots for electric vehicles

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:32
EVs probably won’t be a threat to utilities or the electric grid for several years in most parts of the country. But there are cities where the concentration of EVs is reaching the point where utilities will need to keep a close watch on the numbers in case they have to accommodate additional load. Click to find out where the hotspots are.

Restoration best practices from IEEE

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:26
The frequency of superstorms and the catastrophic damage and outages that follow have become far more common in recent years than in the past. IEEE has published a collection of articles that explain best practices in power restoration that utility professionals should scan, particularly if they’re located in storm-prone areas.

Smart grid security: Are wireless networks our weakest link?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:02
Wireless networks have been identified as the grid’s weakest link. We’re not so sure that’s the case, but wanted to share why researchers reached that conclusion. Here’s a clue: it’s not so much the networks themselves as it is the people running them.

Is Big Data the Next Next Thing?

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:06
What’s the Next Next Thing? It’s that development, concept, technology or something else that could mean a major shift in the evolution of smart grid within the next few years. And it’s just over the horizon where we can’t quite see it yet. We asked knowledgeable industry professionals to share their insights on what the Next Next Thing might be and why. We’re kicking off the series with their takes on Big Data.

Time for another look? Signs that conservation voltage reduction will finally take off

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 17:25
Conservation voltage reduction has largely been in stall mode over the last 10 years or so. But that may soon be old news now that equipment costs have dropped and some utilities are discovering ways to cost-justify the expense. And a startup’s success in the field may get even more utilities interested.

The overlooked success factor: Alstom Grid cited for its M&A prowess

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 17:18
Alstom Grid has picked up a reputation for knowing not only how to find the right companies to acquire, but also how to integrate them successfully and smoothly. Click for more on what makes the company’s acquisition strategy work.

Smart grid wins: a quick look at new projects

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 17:10
Read about Trina Solar’s installations in China, ABB’s transmission project in Poland and Cape Wind’s new agreement with Siemens to provide turbines for the first U.S. offshore wind farm. There’s more where that came from in this week’s roundup of smart grid wins.