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Updated: 8 hours 40 min ago

Why utilities should be emphasizing resiliency (and technologies that can help)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 17:17
Threats to grid infrastructure are growing: from cyber attacks and natural disasters to obsolescence and retirements of key personnel. And utility reputations are suffering for it. Click for highlights from a recent workshop that offer guidance to utilities looking for ways to answer the calls for better grid resiliency.

The 4 phases of customer engagement (many utilities are stuck at #1)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 17:03
As utility professionals know, getting customer engagement right has been a major challenge, particularly at a time when customer expectations and demands are changing so quickly. Read the story for some helpful insights on how to communicate effectively with them.

The real reason for grid divorce? It's not cost reduction or green energy

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 16:54
Grid divorce isn’t a new concept, but it has been attracting a lot of attention recently. While a lot of the discussion about customer-owned power plants has focused on cutting costs or the desire for greener energy, there is a more compelling reason why some customers choose to go off-grid. SGN Chief Analyst Jesse Berst shares his thoughts.

A busy week for smart grid wins: new projects, an acquisition and honors

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 17:54
There’s quite a lot in this week’s smart grid wins roundup. Click to read about Landis+Gyr’s acquisition of PowerSense, Silver Spring Networks’ new partnership, an award for BitStew Systems, a major solar installation on tribal lands and a variety of interesting smart grid projects.

Want real-time demand response? Look to commercial and industrial SCADA

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 17:44
Guest contributor Adam Todorski of Demansys makes the case that the technology and opportunities are available today to connect the elements needed for commercial and industrial loads to take part in real-time demand response programs, and to successfully predict and manage them. He explains why inside.

San Francisco turns to smart water meters during drought

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 17:34
California is in its third year of extremely dry conditions and the continuing drought is taking a severe toll on the state’s water resources. Read about San Francisco’s deployment of smart water meters and online technology to help residents conserve precious water.

6 questions to determine if you really understand utility analytics

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:12
The Big Data revolution has had quite an impact on analytics because of its size and scope. And that means keeping up with a more complex and challenging environment. Read the story to find out if you’re up to speed on the current state of analytics.

Take a look: new smart grid technology products that just might interest you

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 17:02
The vendors and developers that provide smart grid hardware and software are constantly tweaking and enhancing existing products or creating new ones to meet current needs. Click for a sampling of some of those new and enhanced products. It’s quite a variety, from demand response apps to high-speed wireless networking solutions.

When utilities fight back: PNM argues with renewables-uber-alles proponents

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 16:55
Public Service Company of New Mexico’s CEO recently responded to environmentalists that want the utility to commit to more renewable energy: yes, PNM does support renewables, but not at any cost and not if it threatens grid reliability. You may or may not agree with the position, but it is encouraging to see a utility speak out and explain its side of the story.

More trouble for the fuel cell market: ClearEdge Power files for bankruptcy

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 16:06
As Cosmin Laslau of Lux Research makes clear, the fuel cell market is a very rough place for development companies to survive. Citing the bankruptcy filing of developer ClearEdge Power and the missteps that led to it, he warns that more bankruptcies and consolidations are coming and that fuel cell companies and investors should be extremely cautious.

The Army's biggest-ever solar initiative (and it's in Georgia!)

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:56
Not that many years ago, it would have been hard to believe the U.S. military would thoroughly embrace renewable energy and distributed generation. But it most certainly did. Click to read about the Army’s latest and largest foray into large-scale solar with Georgia Power.

Why and how to future-proof your smart grid communications

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:47
Communications networks are critical elements of every smart grid project, and must be able to accommodate today’s and future demands. Ron Pate of Elster provides plenty of food for thought (and plenty of detail) in his thoughtful piece on the fresh approach network operators and vendors need to take if communications systems are to be as flexible and interoperable as they need to be.

Are you taking advantage of these three research facilities? (They're often free.)

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 17:30
Most utilities probably would not consider taking on the expense of developing their own research and testing facilities. As it turns out, they may not have to. A number of DOE’s national labs have grid-related facilities, with many features available to qualified researchers.

Will Obama's behind-the-scenes coal-plant plans spur smart grid investments?

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 17:19
The Obama administration may take action to cut power plant emissions by up to 25%. If that happens, there are ways power plant owners could sidestep the mandates. Take a look at our summary to learn about some of their options and another issue that could affect the outcome.

Boulder is deciding just how and when to kick out Xcel Energy

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 17:13
The next chapter in the long, complicated Boulder, Colorado versus Xcel Energy saga: city officials hope for a smooth, gradual transition to a municipal electric utility. And they’re asking state regulators to “influence” the utility to cooperate. Click for details.

Chattanooga's state-of-the-art control room

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 17:55
Chattanooga’s EPB is defying the notion that only a big investor-owned utility can afford a truly top notch smart grid. And its sophisticated new real-time control room is a particularly good example of how it can be done. Click to read the story and get the details.

Smart grid wins: A quick way to keep up with smart grid companies

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 17:40
There’s plenty of news from smart grid companies this week, from projects and milestones to collaborations and partnerships. Click for a quick look at projects and developments from Ideal Power, C3 Energy, IBM, Silver Spring Networks, Schneider Electric and others.

Can utilities solve their broadband needs through FirstNet? (Please tell me you know about FirstNet!)

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 17:32
FirstNet will build a nationwide broadband network for first responders and is considering who should be eligible. Many believe utilities would be a perfect fit for the network and that it would offer them a substantial benefit in return. But utilities need to decide if and how they want to be involved.

Smart grid markets: Substantial growth expected for several sectors

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 16:57
Filtering through the massive quantity of smart grid market research reports to find what you’re looking for can be frustrating. Click to read a selection of interesting reports in smart cities, home energy management, distribution automation and other smart grid sectors.

Now utilities can tell customers how much energy each appliance uses (just from the smart meter data)

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 16:48
Just as smart phones have evolved into so much more than a convenient way to make a call or check email, smart meters are expected to follow a similar evolutionary path. Guest author Salim Popatia explains that the next step for smart meters is to tell customers how much energy each of their appliances uses.