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Updated: 32 min 35 sec ago

The top five microgrid customer benefits

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 17:22
Guest author Stuart McCafferty notes that microgrids are not always the optimal solution -- but when they are a good fit for power companies’ organizational needs that investment should include benefits for consumers too. He shares and explains some of the more common as well as provocative customer benefits microgrids can offer.

Malta's smart meter scandal -- $41 million worth of electricity stolen

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 17:15
Smart meters offer many advantages, but they also bring new vulnerabilities. A perfect case in point: Malta. A meter tampering racket managed to siphon off 10% of the power generated by the island country. Click for details… and a reminder that vigilance is not optional. It’s essential.

Great news about our distributed future: EPRI studies "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" strategy

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 16:46
Most professionals in the utility industry realize there’s little chance of a future without the steadily accelerating adoption of distributed energy. Fortunately EPRI has embarked on new studies and initiatives to help utilities make the most of that distributed future… and prosper.

Breakthrough? Why and how to triangulate your data (and the missing link that lets it happen)

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 16:38
A massive amount of data is collected from meters and substations, but the segment between substations and meters might as well be invisible. GRID20/20 President Alan Snook explains how low-cost sensors and data triangulation can shed light on that largely hidden stretch, and why it’s such a useful strategy.

It's not enough to change residential behavior. Utilities need to change office behavior too

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 16:27
Are we wrong to focus solely on residential energy efficiency? According to a new report from the UK, the answer is yes. Researchers found that consumers are much more likely to use energy saving measures at home, and ignore them at the office. Click for details.

Your new best friend: Why NRDC is helping persuade regulators to make rates more fair

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 17:25
The Natural Resources Defense Council has partnered with the Edison Electric Institute to bring regulators on board with new rate plans and business models to speed up grid modernization. Click to learn why NRDC and EEI are taking action and how they can be powerful allies for utilities.

End-to-end, multi-layer smart grid security - How Altalink did it

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 17:20
Smart grid security gets an awful lot of attention and furrowed brows, but there just haven’t been many successful implementations. Engineers from AltaLink, Alberta’s largest transmission company, share how they were able to set multiple layers of protection in place.

Smart grid wins: Opower files for IPO (and much more news of the week)

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 17:07
It’s been yet another big week for smart grid projects and developments, not to mention interesting news on renewable energy company First Wind’s infusion of cash and Opower’s long-rumored IPO. Click for details on those stories and other news from a variety of smart grid companies.

This may be the key to massive microgrid growth (Hint: Financing)

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:04
Yes, microgrids have been making inroads in several areas. They can be found anywhere from data centers to telecom stations and homes. Lux Research explains why the next logical step in the sector will be Microgrid-as-a-Service – and why the firm’s researchers believe it is the best new business model for capitalizing on a growing market.

Structure Group reveals six key trends (and how to prepare)

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:50
In the grid modernization world, what’s coming next is always a top concern. What it is, what the impact will be and how to prepare are the questions hanging over our heads. Alex Lago and Rafael Ochoa of smart grid pioneer Structure Group share their thoughts on six trends now on the horizon, trends they believe utilities should be getting ready for.

New study: We did AMI all wrong. Here's a better way

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:41
A better way to cost-justify smart meter investments? The Smart Grid Research Consortium believes it has one. Rather than spending massive amounts of time recruiting customers and keeping them engaged in demand response programs, click to read why the SGRC believes joint AMI and smart meter-enabled conservation voltage reduction can be a much better approach. And a lot less risky.

The 10 keys to a successful Internet Protocol (IP) transition

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 16:27
There are a lot of ways to capture more value from smart grid investments, but making the best choices can be tricky. Mark Burke of DNV-GL recommends 10 strategies for utilities to keep in mind when planning investments focused on the IP standard.

Electric power's five biggest challenges: Part Five -- Planning for empowered consumers

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 16:19
In the final article of their series, GridWise Alliance CEO Becky Harrison and New West Technologies President Steve Hauser explain and emphasize how critically important it is for utilities to understand the expectations and preferences of today’s more discerning and ‘empowered customers.’ It’s a quick read, and very rewarding.

Why batteries are making AES more attractive to investors

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 16:10
It used to be that investors backed away from utilities they saw as too progressive. But one global power company, AES, has received some very good press (and a recommendation to invest) because of its experimentation with energy storage. Click for details.

Utilities: Time to get ready for the smart buildings wave

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 15:59
Smart buildings and the concept of connecting them to the smart grid for load control and demand response have both been around for a while. But now building owners see the possibility of new revenue streams from demand response and other smart grid technologies… and they will be expecting their local utility to have the programs they want.

Utilities: Survival course for dinosaurs (advice from one of our own)

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 15:28
If the frequent media articles proclaiming that utilities are doomed are disheartening, then take the time to read Steve Klein’s piece on how alert utilities can survive and do well. Even if the deck seems stacked against them. His valuable observations are just a click away.

Why you need to sniper-proof your grid (Now!)

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 15:09
Ordinarily utilities worry about their operations being the target of cyberattacks. But one physical threat is far less complicated: sniper attacks. News reports have confirmed shooting incidents, and one that nearly caused a partial blackout. Not that grid operators need anything else to worry about, but here is one more cause for real concern… and action.

The 4 most important smart grid lessons learned (courtesy of Black & Veatch)

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 14:57
In its first Strategic Directions report on utility automation, Black & Veatch shares the results of a survey conducted with utility executives about common challenges and possible opportunities. It’s worthwhile reading for all, but particularly for those executives who may be wondering “Is it just me, or…?”

Philadelphia's Navy Yard maps its energy future

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:45
With help from industry heavyweights such as Alstom Grid, Philadelphia's Navy Yard has a new energy master plan to take it into the future. Click to see what's next for the private electric grid – including its role as a testing ground for new technologies.

Smart grid resources and the paradigm shift to come (aka locational cost effectiveness)

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:49
At a time when utilities are forced to deal with several major changes at once, Integral Analytics CEO Tom Osterhus sees yet another coming forward: a significant paradigm shift in the pursuit, approval and integration of smart grid resources. Click to read his insightful observations and his take on what the impact is likely to be.