Community News and Information
Updated: 3 hours 26 min ago
ComEd has released the first annual progress report on its smart grid program, and it’s well worth the time to study it. Why? ComEd has done a very good job of zeroing in on the right benefits to emphasize and explaining why they are important to customers.
It’s time to add state regulators to the growing list of agencies that want to get involved in utility cybersecurity. The public utility commission for the District of Columbia has never done a detailed examination of the local utility’s cybersecurity defenses but says it will conduct one now – because the issue has become so urgent. Other states have similar plans.
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) wants to become the ‘utility of the future.’ That’s good news. The real story, however, is what’s behind the ambitious business model overhaul. Read the story to learn why state regulators are leaning so hard on HECO to accomplish that goal.
Yes, utilities get criticized for failing to move quickly enough on new innovations and technologies. But as guest author Lisa Wood contends, utilities have already adopted what can only be described as breakthrough innovations in several areas.
Not that utilities need anything else to worry about with cyber and physical security issues as critical concerns among others. But… a Congressional hearing found something even more alarming: the catastrophic and deadly results of an electromagnetic pulse attack.
Consumers have changed… a lot. And they expect the companies they buy products and services from to adapt and change too. Most companies are responding to what the ‘new’ ultra-connected consumer wants, but many electric utilities have been slow to react. Click to read why it’s important that they do.
Volt/VAR optimization appears finally to be coming into its own and attracting more interest from utilities that want to cut power losses. Guest contributor Jeremy Wilson explains why it’s a very good idea, particularly in a time of changing regulatory policy toward energy efficiency initiatives.
There’s a bit of everything in this week’s smart grid wins roundup, with projects ranging from metering to grid hardening and microgrids to new partnerships for GE and Ventyx, an acquisition for Silver Spring Networks and a new funding opportunity from the Energy Department.
How can utilities make sure they're asking the right questions when it comes to protecting smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure systems? A compelling new infographic from Elster Solutions will point you in the right direction. Find out how to get your free copy.
Net zero energy buildings are one thing. But Honda is taking the concept a step further. Its smart home combines net zero energy housing, electric vehicle transportation and rooftop solar to create more energy than it uses. Click for details on the project and the technologies involved.
Brutal storms from Hurricane Sandy on have caused billions of dollars in damage. Lives have been lost, and millions of customers lost power for days. As a result, utilities stand accused of not doing enough about outage restoration. Three guest authors offer an excellent explanation of the issue and its challenges, as well as recommendations for what utilities can do to mitigate outage damage and duration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.