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Updated: 1 day 15 hours ago

The existential threat to demand response

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 17:24
A recent court order that said FERC exceeded its authority in setting compensation for demand response providers affects no more than a small fraction of the total market. But as guest author Mike Gordon points out, the court’s decision could hamper FERC’s ability to regulate DR markets more broadly in the future.

The net metering debate: Solar power unfair to the poor says former regulator

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:58
It could be a good sign: a former regulator has criticized the net metering structure for unfairly subsidizing high-income families that can afford rooftop solar and penalizing low-income families that can’t. Utilities have frequently had a hard time getting net metering amended to remedy the situation. But if regulators are starting to listen… a change to come?

Massachusetts to utilities: Thou shalt modernize (for at least 10 years straight)

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 17:29
Massachusetts already has a reputation for its commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Now the state is taking it one or two steps further. Regulators have issued orders requiring the state’s electric distribution companies to modernize the electric grid.

How to forecast Ontario's power future (and what it means to the rest of us)

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 17:08
Last week, Canadian voters in the province of Ontario surprised the pollsters by electing a majority Liberal government. Guest author Ian H. Rowlands explains why that election should be taken as good news for smart grid proponents as well as for a variety of grid modernization initiatives and programs.

Proof that Google intends to take over the power grid

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:54
Google has made very clear its intent to carve out a major space for itself in the home energy management market. And while there has been no public announcement yet, it looks like the search giant also plans to disrupt the utility space. Click to read why we think so.

Low Income Consumer Decision Making

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 16:54
This research project report was commissioned by DEFG’s Low Income Energy Issues Forum, a large and diverse group, comprised of consumer advocates, program administrators, regulatory commissioners and representatives from energy utilities, retail energy providers, non-profit agencies, and vendors. The goal of the LIEIF is to propose innovative and integrated policies and approaches that help close the widening gap between what vulnerable energy consumers can pay and their current utility bills.

How to mature your grid operations (from an industry insider)

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:08
In the first two parts of his series on the operations maturity model, guest author Kai Hui explained how utilities can measure their progress and move up the maturity scale more quickly. His final installment covers integrated software and its critical importance in the operations maturity process.

ComEd gets green light to speed up smart meter deployment

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 17:04
For a long time, ComEd’s efforts to roll out smart meters looked like a confusing game of ping pong. There were politics; there were delays. But Illinois regulators this week approved the utility’s filing to speed up its smart meter deployment program… and wrap it up three years ahead of schedule.

Honeywell to build Army microgrid (and more smart grid project news)

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 16:55
Honeywell will build a microgrid for the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, and Landis+Gyr will acquire GRIDiant Corporation. Those are only two examples of the big news stories readers will find in this week’s collection of smart grid wins.

When not so smart people run smart grids -- 3 ways to raise your operational IQ

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:56
In the first part of his three-part series on the operations maturity model, guest author Kai Hui related how utilities can use it to gauge how effectively they are interpreting using smart meter data. Now, he explains three ways utilities can climb to a higher level on the maturity scale.

Smart grid tech: A bit of what’s new from the technology sector

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:40
The quest for better smart grid technologies and enhancements never stops. Read about GE Digital Energy’s new time synchronization solution, ABB’s latest secondary substation, a new analytics offering from C3 Energy and other platforms and devices.

What NERC got wrong in its new security recommendations

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 16:19
While generally getting a thumbs up from the electric power industry, NERC’s new physical security standards contain flaws, says Battelle’s Jason Black. Click to read his concerns and suggestions for improving the standards.

How AMI analytics will determine utility winners and losers

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 17:46
Early on AMI primarily was seen as a way to reduce peak demand and give customers more information about (and control over) their energy use. But as a new whitepaper from Oracle and Opower reveals, there are more benefits to be had… without additional cost. Click for a summary and to download the paper.

To see the future of electric power, just travel to... Africa?!?

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 17:40
A solar-based microgrid will be built to provide power for an island off Africa’s Equatorial Guinea. It’s an interesting story because it may be a preview of how some areas of the developing world will skip centralized electric grids altogether in favor of solar + storage systems.

Are you smart enough to run a smart grid? How to grade your operations IQ

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 16:38
All the smart meter data in the world isn’t going to do much good if a utility is unable to efficiently and effectively interpret and extract value from it. In the first of a three-part series, long-time utility insider Kai Hui explains the operations maturity model and how utilities can use it to judge if they are making the most of the data they have available.

Skim 7 years of smart grid progress in 6 minutes

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 16:53
Readers can learn a lot about how the smart grid has evolved just by watching a short video from EPRI. The video highlights the most important results of its Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative, and it can also be mined for ideas on how utilities can explain their own initiatives in an understandable way.

Utility CEO to regulators: We can't keep living from rate case to rate case!

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 16:46
ComEd President and CEO Anne Prammaggiore doesn’t mince words when it comes to sharing her thoughts on why utilities are stuck in the 20th century. Click for her views on why regulations established at that time often don’t allow utilities to provide customers the services they want today.

It's official: Distributed energy is the biggest challenge of the next 5 years

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 16:28
Utility leaders generally agree the most difficult and immediate challenge they face is distributed energy, according to a new survey from DNV GL. The bright spot? Most utilities are taking constructive steps to meet the challenge, and exploring new technologies to assist them.