Insights from our Editorial Team
SRP and APS discuss the changes they've made in the past few years
Yesterday's Intelligent Utility Realities webcast, "IT and OT: The Line Between Corporate and Operational IT," brought together two senior information technology managers from different utilities in the same state -- Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project -- to discuss information technology organizational structures within each of their organizations.
Voltage optimization, customer service automation and outage management belong in rate cases
An AMI executive sid that voltage optimization, automated customer service and outage management belong in rate cases as consumer benefits. The "third wave" in the North American smart metering market is just beginning, he said.
Political machinations and mid-term changes won't alter smart grid's course
Election changes might await us this early morning, and they'll already be old news by the time you read this column. And then we will watch ... but I doubt we will wait. This "smart grid" snowball has gathered too much momentum, I think, to be halted by mid-term elections and political machinations. No matter how far the pendulum may swing, to the left or to the right, history has clearly shown that it won't really make that much difference, in the long run.
Security threats real, focus on consumer benefits, rise of data analytics
A market research analyst looks ahead and forecasts next year's top ten trends. He sees a rise in tangible security threats, a delay for "the year of the home area network," tighter linkage between smart meter rollouts and tangible consumer value and other insights. We invite readers to score these predictions and add their own.
Build a sustainable business, press for open standards, COO says
The North American market for smart grid is diverse and nuanced and the deliberate pursuit of a sustainable business is the healthiest course, according to Philip Mezey, chief operating officer for Itron North America. Utilities and vendors should work toward open standards and reduce total cost of ownership for innovations that will aid efficiency and reliability, Mezey said in an interview.
The home appliance industry has weighed in on their opinion of the best protocol for smart appliances. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) recently released a report entitled "Assessment of Communications Standards for Smart Appliances: The Home Appliance Industry's Technical Evaluation of Communication Protocols."
Intelligent Utility polls and "Post-Partisan Power"
Some of my readers have bemoaned my occasional injection of raw politics into discussions of grid modernization. But with the mid-term elections tomorrow, it's never been clearer that politics, policy and utility strategies are intertwined. Here are the results of readers polls we've taken on politically related smart grid issues.
Triple cost overrun deemed "prudent" by state commission
The decision by an administrative law judge for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to grant Xcel Energy's request for cost recovery of $44.5 million for its SmartGridCity project is neither prudent nor reasonable. It makes a mockery of public utility commissions' responsibility to protect ratepayers from the costs of projects that lack regulatory oversight. The decision will come to haunt the electric utility industry and could reverse public sentiment towards grid modernization.
Rational smart grid processes yield business value
Accenture's Sharon Allan tells Intelligent Utility Daily that thinking through every smart grid effort to an end state that may be years away is critical to designing systems that will yield their full business value. That's not easy in an environment swept by change, she acknowledged. But translating that vision into a detailed roadmap and grasping its impacts on business processes can aid in aligning people and processes, for a more effective utility.
Aneesh Chopra ends GridWeek with a direct challenge, and opportunities, for industry
According to Chopra, NIST's Smart Grid Interoperability Panel will issue a direct challenge to thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and Joe Public to present ideas on seven key questions concerning policy consensus on the smart grid by the end of this year. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Who will take it up?