Insights from our Editorial Team
Readers suggest factors that will shape future
Can the United States continue to build out its generation, transmission and distribution systems as in the days of old? Or will the cost and acceptance of new technology segue the nation's grid into something that looks far different than today? To hear what readers have to say on these big questions, read this column.
Big transmission = big problemsMar 24, 2011 |
A nationally connected grid isn't necessarily smart or secure or reliable. Keeping the least distance between generation and load lends itself to a more diverse, resilient, modern grid. That's not so much about IT and communications networks and sensors, but it sure is "smart grid" thinking.
IDC outlines drivers and targets for spendingMar 23, 2011 |
IT spending at North American utilities is expected to rise this year, slightly above IT spending levels for all industries, according to a recent analysis by IDC. Find out why.
Utility fires up Smart Grid 2.0
As we begin work on compiling the UtiliQ rankings for 2011, let's take a look back at one of last year's leading utilities. The nation's ninth-largest community-owned electric utility, Austin Energy serves 388,000 customers and a community of 900,000. Its smart grid program covers 440 miles, includes 500,000 devices and involves 100 terabytes of data.
Operational complexity not for the meekMar 22, 2011 |
Our columnist spends a nine-hour day immersed in the operational details of the grid of yesterday and has a feverish dream of being in the driver's seat, operating the grid. It's almost too much, and that's before applying smarts to the distribution system, integrating renewable energy and a whole lot more.
Readers weigh in on Marin County vs. PG&EMar 21, 2011 |
Our readers had insights into the motivation of Marin County residents battling PG&E over smart meters and solutions for the utility, which they say needs to work harder to earn its customers trust. If you work for a utility that's installing smart meters, you need to read this column.
Pilots aimed at localized, circuit peaks for capital deferment
Colorado Springs Utilities is a mid-sized, multi-service utility that is not capacity-constrained. Instead, it is focused on capital deferment of feeder and substation-related upgrades through pilots that smooth peaks on local circuits. The utility will introduce peak time pricing this summer without smart meters. To find out how, read this column.
The customer engagement challenge
The future of demand response and energy efficiency may be dependent on the quality of the interface we build between the customer, utility and the grid.
Best practices courtesy of two PUC chairmen
How can utilities gain regulatory approval for dynamic pricing programs and gain market acceptance for them? The chairmen of Michigan's and New York's public utilities commissions weigh in with their personal views. They say dynamic pricing will unlock the value of smart meters for consumers. Read more here.
Experts convene for California commission's workshop
Energy storage, the so-called holy grail of the grid, is being vigorously explored in California, which may have the most to gain. A California Public Utilities Commission workshop last week highlighted current technologies, paths to commercialization and barriers to uptake. For five things you must know about storage, click open this article.