Insights from our Editorial Team
CIOs must mobilize the workforce and customers
Will the "consumerization of IT" help utilities gain mobile workforce efficiencies and, externally, engage customers? They can if they move immediately on one of the most promising channels for both purposes. Or they'll get left behind by third parties ready to step up now.
Fort Bliss moving on premise, self-sufficiency = security
Fort Bliss, an Army post of 1,700 square miles on the Texas-New Mexico border, seeks energy independence by creating a microgrid, which applies many of the technologies and strategies that make a smart grid. The military "gets it" and is moving ahead. Our columnist compares that with the civilian sector, where the fever started but where execution isn't so simple.
Philosophy on technology value drives pilots
Arizona Public Service is determined to keep up with the dizzying array of new technologies hitting commercialization, but it is in no hurry to deploy them. Love 'em or hate 'em, pilot programs come first. And only when value is established will this utility make mega-million-dollar investments for full deployment.
Two applications' uptake likely next year
Optimizing the distribution system will draw many utilities to invest next year in one of two applications, including fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR) and integrated volt/VAR control (IVVC). Of the two,FLISR brings integration challenges and costs.
Readers bite when 'engagement' is served
When you write about customer engagement, opinionators come out of the woodwork. And that's a good thing. We're all utility customers. And there are a lot of good ideas out there, many expressed by our readers, on how to get the job done.
Teed up: NERC CIP, the issue of scale and data visualization
If you run an electric utility, you will encounter the issues that crop up during compliance with NERC CIP requirements, with taking pilot programs to scale and in using data visualization tools. Intelligent Utility has addressed these subjects in webinars and articles with industry experts and those resources are offered here.
Grid modernization drives myriad issues
CIOs face myriad issues in implementing smart grid, from establishing the importance of cyber security within the organization to hiring the people who can make things work. An off-the-record discussion among CIOs reveals a few pressing issues that should be on IT's plate at any utility.
GridWise Alliance report: cross-functional skills needed
Just as Congressional focus returns to job creation, a KEMA report released recently for the GridWise Alliance argues that smart grid "presents an opportunity for the United States to develop a strong native industry around development, deployment, maintenance and servicing smart grid infrastructure and technology." But it won't be a slam-dunk, by any means.
Boulderites lash city council, Xcel Energy
The ratepayers of Boulder, Colo., aren't sure they trust their city council or Xcel Energy or other players in the municipalization drama unfolding in this college town of 100,000. Letters to the editor of the local paper reveal many strands in that drama, with implications for large, investor-owned utilities concerned about customer satisfaction and possible defections from their customer base.
Former partners head to showdown over 'municipalization'
Boulder, Colo., seeks energy self-determination and a speedier shift to renewable energy than its current provider, Xcel Energy, is offering. And Xcel disputes that the latter assertion is possible. Here's a chronology of recent events in Boulder's efforts to explore municipalization, which could cost Xcel as much as $100 million in annual revenue.