Commentary

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    Mar 31, 2005 | Eric Noack
    The rapid rate of change and competitive pressure in today's business environment is forcing utilities, like other companies, to adopt new strategies for doing more with less. Increased pressure is leading many utilities to explore the use of enterprise portals as a tool to operate more efficiently and effectively.
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    Mar 28, 2005 | Arthur O'Donnell
    Nearly one year ago, the very first Business Electric column explored the financial prospects of companies that stand to profit from an increased investment in electric system reliability. The article also established a "reliability index" of 15 stocks for publicly traded companies that appear to be key providers of reliability services or equipment.
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    Mar 21, 2005 | Arthur O'Donnell
    Beginning this April, the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) will put into effect about 90 revised standards and actions to promote the reliability of the high-voltage transmission system. And later this year, NERC members expect to vote on whether to implement a "permanent" standard to promote effective cyber security policies and best practices.
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    Mar 18, 2005 | Scott Shemwell
    Security has never been higher on the managerial agenda. The global enterprise is addressing a host of perils ranging from exposure of its hard asset infrastructure to criminals and terrorists to the perpetual assault by viruses, worms, and other cyber organisms.
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    Mar 17, 2005 | LAW LIBRARY
    The most successful real-time pricing program in the United States has become even more successful. In January 2005, the Georgia Public Service Commission confirmed a broad-based settlement that it had adopted in Georgia Power Company's rate case (Docket No. 18300-U) that kept the company's Real-Time Pricing ("RTP") tariff intact and opened 450 MW of additional commercial load to RTP.
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    Mar 16, 2005 | John Hall
    Utilities across the United States are exposed to many phenomena, natural and otherwise, that potentially can challenge the company and its ability to respond successfully to extensive service interruptions. In its work with major utilities across the US, PA Consulting Group has found that very few companies are completely prepared to respond and fulfil their mission in the face of disaster inducing phenomena.
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    Mar 15, 2005 | John Egan
    When Laura Chappelle, a Michigan utility regulator, speaks to utility companies about broadband over power lines (BPL) technology, she invokes a powerful scene from the movie "Jerry McGuire."
  • Mar 11, 2005 | Jack Casazza
    The operation of the bulk power electric system in the United States is the responsibility of approximately 150 control areas. Historically, the main function of these control areas was to ensure that sufficient generation would be available day to day and hour to hour to meet anticipated customer requirements for electricity.
  • Mar 10, 2005 | Jack Casazza
    The August 2003 Blackout of the Northeastern United States and part of Canada occurred at a time of upheaval for the nation’s electric power industry. For about a decade, the U.S. Federal Government had worked to establish a wholesale electric energy market, open to all participants. To do so it had also pursued an ill-conceived plan to totally restructure the nation’s power supply system.
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    Mar 03, 2005 | Harry Debes
    Utilities have been underserved by the software industry for too long. But now, finally, that is changing. The long battle between Enterprise and Best of Breed software vendors is ending. No longer will utilities that want an integrated back-office ERP application have to cope with expensive customizations to meet utility-specific needs.