Insights from our Editorial Team
Implementing new systems is bigger task than anticipated
Why are some utilities having difficulty getting accurate outage information out of their new systems and, thus, hampering effective communication with customers on restoration time? We examine both system conversion and scale.
Or will low cost, long timeframe make message moot?
Recent news coverage of smart grid work in Illinois delivers the messages that customers will "save money" and experience fewer outages. That's a long-term value proposition, without immediate proof, for $3 a month. Will those messages fly or fall flat?
Utility efficiencies from employees on-the-go
Mobility for office and field workers offers significant productivity gains. But how does a CIO prepare for the deluge of devices and applications that require management and support? Two utilities provide lessons learned.
EPRI's Robert Uluski puts the equation together
Marrying DMS with OMS is just the beginning. EPRI's Robert Uluski's conversation with Intelligent Utility magazine editor-in-chief Kate Rowland looks at future applications, as well.
Readers describe the shape of things to come
What will the centralized power industry look like in 5, 10, 15 years? Many predict major inroads by alternative energy sources and practices, while others insist that the nature of power's infrastructure guarantees its existence, if not hegemony.
KEMA and industry group opt for centrism
How to pitch continued federal support for energy storage research and demonstration projects? One group is making an appeal to policymakers' patriotism and election year dedication to national security and energy independence. The argument is well-honed, if familiar. How will it play?
After nearly a decade, situational awareness still not adequate
Last September's blackout in Arizona and Southern California robbed 2.7 million people of power. Synchrophasors and situational awareness might have limited the extent of the blackout. Ongoing work in the Western Interconnection is set for completion next spring, when we'll begin to learn if synchrophasors live up to their promise.
But will utilities listen if customers talk?
Customer survey after customer survey confirms that utility customers are there for the claiming, but will utilities move in time before the modern, digitally savvy customer is claimed by others? Fighting for ownership of the customer is not as effective as persuading the customer with thoughtful options and service offerings.
'New' ideas and their upshots for utilities, explained
Advancements by utilities, documented in these pages, raise bigger questions than the tactical applications they're designed to address. From energy storage to energy advisors, from microgrids to customers, nothing utilities do occurs in a vacuum. Even regulated monopolies face competition, directly or indirectly, from ideas to rivals for their customers' attention.
FERC's Wellinghoff discusses, and Minnesota co-op announces big project
Two different conversations today -- one held by FERC Chairman John Wellinghoff, and another led by Minnesota-based cooperative Great River Energy -- coalesced to point to the increasing importance of demand response and demand-side management to electric utilities in today's environment.