Community News and Information
Updated: 4 hours 16 min ago
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!)
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.
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)
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.
The tipping point for energy storage seems to be approaching quickly. The cost of storage technologies is falling and incentives are increasing. Read the story to learn more about the current status of energy storage and which buildings are best suited for it.
South Korea intends to move into the smart grid space to become a “knowledge superpower,” and if the country’s past performance and growth in the automotive and electronics industries are an indicator, success is very likely. Click for a brief look at Korea’s smart grid platform.
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.