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Updated: 11 hours 33 min ago

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.

Two immediate steps to improve your smart grid cybersecurity (from an expert)

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 17:19
Yes, there has been a swarm of warnings about major vulnerabilities in most smart grids. But this particular warning from guest author Julian Waits also includes two very straightforward steps utilities can take to address cybersecurity weaknesses… right now.

Ruston's successful smart grid, smart metering project… a smart grid case study

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 17:08
The City of Ruston, Louisiana received $4.3 million in 2009’s Smart Grid Investment Grant round of funding for grid modernization. Click to read what the city did to greatly improve operations for its community-owned electric utility. The report documents the process from planning to completion.

Grid operators: Your current tools are failing you (and what to consider instead)

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 16:57
As we load increasing amounts of stress onto our transmission system, whether from renewables integration or other sources, threats to grid stability grow too. Battelle’s Jason Black explains why it is so critical to get away from relying on the old models and address today’s new challenges with new solutions.

Hydro-Quebec teams with Sony on energy storage (could you do something similar?)

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 16:58
Sony Corporation and Hydro-Quebec will develop a large-scale power storage system for electric grids. Considering that grid-scale batteries are expected to be cost effective soon and that more regulators are requiring energy storage, it’s a smart strategy for other utilities to look into.

Why utilities MUST take on EV charging themselves (and the right way to do it)

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 16:46
At one time utilities feared an increased number of electric vehicles on the road would be harmful to the grid. Now, many utilities with high percentages of intermittent renewable energy sources want to provide EV charging themselves to help buffer the effects of varying power output. Guest author Brett Hauser explains why that is a very good idea.

NERC wimps out, passes toothless grid security regulations

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 16:40
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation has released the draft of new grid security regulations it was ordered to provide. However, supporters of much stronger security safeguards say the new standards fall far short of the measures needed to adequately protect the grid from physical attacks.