Insights from our Editorial Team
Pathways to obsolescence, considered
The centralized power industry will be a largely irrelevant shadow of its former self within a generation, our soothsayer says. Utility culture and practices will run up against American ingenuity, technology and self-sufficiency and the latter will win, hands down. A prognosis for the future, from our columnist.
SmartGridCity cost recovery continues
Xcel is back before Colorado regulators, asking for another $16.6 million in cost recovery, claiming it has established the value of SmartGridCity because the technology piece is complete and operational. Meanwhile, its pilots remain unfinished and Boulder, Colo., has joined the proceedings.
Utilities compete for analytics talent
Big Data is now Big News and consumers are getting hip to the uses and abuses of that data well before electric utilities have had a chance to communicate their own approach. In practical terms, utilities are behind the curve in recruiting for the data analytics practitioners much sought after by all enterprises.
Institutional mistrust and the rejection of science
Fringe elements on both the right and left ends of the political spectrum are demonizing and disrupting public discussion of sustainable practices, including grid modernization. The rhetoric is wacky, inaccurate and destructive to society and its will to move ahead. And it is pervasive.
Cobb EMC, OG&E and the Utility Analytics Institute explain the value path
What is Big Data? Mike Smith, vice president, marketing practices, for Energy Central's Utility Analytics Institute (UAI), says, "The reality is, in the world we live in beyond utilities, there's an incredible amount of digital data being created." For the utility world, Big Data also means big changes in the day-to-day operations, and in customer service.
Implementation: weak link in cyber security?
Chasing mandates on security compliance may be driven by aversion to fines. But that approach can lead to faulty security measures and, more importantly, impair your security stance. Listen in on a discussion of "how to think about security."
Utilities, vendors, enviros, consumer advocates weigh in
Implementing energy storage is fraught with complexities. While it has some clear-cut applications, some argue that alternatives for those applications are less costly. And implementing energy storage can have unintended consequences for the electricity market, possibly upending environmental goals. Should California establish procurement goals for utilities, given the uncertainties?
California regulators hear from interested parties
Need a primer on energy storage issues? We offer a look at the issues faced by California regulators as they seek to articulate policy to answer the demands of legislation known as AB 2514. Today, the utility perspective. Tomorrow, other interested parties.
"Single version of the truth" sought for uniform results
Big Data calls for an IT architecture that can store, manage and extract value from data streams on a scale not seen by utilities until now. Central governance is favored over separate silos. And in-house expertise in determining the business questions that guide data mining will likely be sought. Two utilites describe their approach in this column.
Modest muni engages customers, technology and spirit
Let us now praise utilities that are using smart technology and customer participation to meet budgetary and technical constraints. Today we visit Colorado Springs Utilities at the base of Pikes Peak.