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Updated: 8 hours 38 min ago

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.

Smart grid success: Australia declares its program a win (with caveats)

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:40
The Australian government has wrapped up an audit of its Smart Grid, Smart City program trial. The results? Basically good although there were some notable shortcomings. Click for a brief look at what the auditors found and for more on Australia’s program.

Smart grid wins… new projects, awards and developments

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:25
As always, it’s been a busy week for smart grid projects and developments. So we’re sharing a selection that should be interesting… from metering and energy storage to analytics and transmission. And don’t miss the new partnerships, and awards to CenterPoint Energy and Silver Spring Networks for their consumer education efforts.

How to survive the death spiral? Become an Ebay for electricity (or a leasing company)

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:41
More and more utility customers are generating most of their own electricity with rooftop solar – and they’re getting relatively painless financing to do it. But utilities are in a very good position to take advantage of the opportunities the changing market is creating, if they’re willing to take on the challenges.

The 10 essentials of a great smart grid plan

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 15:28
Whether utilities are just now embarking on their smart grid initiatives or they have been underway for some time, it’s always smart to consider good advice. While it may sound like a surprising source, click to review best practices recommended by the Environmental Defense Fund’s John Finnigan. His recommendations could be very helpful when it’s time to talk rates with regulators.

Snag your copy of our latest eBook: The Ultimate Guide to AMI

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:23
Developed with leading industry experts, SGN's new eBook offering is a full-scale, start-to-finish, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink compendium of AMI best practices, lessons learned and future directions. Don't miss it; click to download your free copy.

2015 here we come. Britain maps out its smart meter future

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 18:26
The UK has updated a long-range plan for its 2015 smart meter rollout. It’s a good story to follow because there could be both lessons and cautions for utilities elsewhere as the project continues. Get the details about the preparations underway and the priorities for ensuring a stable rollout.

The right way to approach Big Data (GE thinks it knows)

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 18:20
Data analytics has been a hot topic for utilities, and GE Digital Energy has invested a lot of time and effort in developing solutions. We had a chance to talk with GE’s general manager for Software Solutions about the company’s approach recently and thought readers would be interested in the results.