Intelligent Utility Magazine September/October 2009
In This Issue
  • Missouri's smart grid progress
    IT'S REALLY NO REVELATION THAT SUSTAINABLE EFFORTS IN SMART GRID today are either ongoing or being planned and implemented. The initiatives are happening not only in globally prominent geographies, but also in some regions where they're astonishingly less advertised.Like every worthwhile pursuit, however, it doesn't matter whether implementation is high profile or low key. Some of the lesser-...
  • SMART SOLUTIONS MUST TAKE INTO ACCOUNT REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
    AMERICA'S ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE-OLD AND WILDLY OUTDATED-IS overstressed. Several critical market needs are driving new requirements in an industry that has seen little change since the Great Depression.Customization is the way things are going around the world, so why would anyone think a one-size-fits-all solution for a smarter grid would work in the United States? Each region of the country...
  • WITH ALL THE EMPHASIS BEING PUT ON SMART GRID technology-including large investments to upgrade our nation's antiquated energy distribution system-it's likely that a robust and intelligent energy network will emerge in the future.But wait. That smart grid might not be as smart if utilities overlook key networking and infrastructure issues, such as moving from a centralized network architecture to...
  • AN INTELLIGENT UTILITY REQUIRES MEASURING VALUE
    AN THE UTILITY INDUSTRY EMBARKS ON THE JOURNEY toward a smart grid/intelligent utility, it will be well served to remember the old saying: ''If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.'' New outputs, we all know, require new inputs. The transformation to an intelligent utility will not be made by repeating the management practices, measures and strategic...
  • SNOPUD'S TAKE ON SMART ARCHITECTURE
    SNOHOMISH COUNTY PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT (SNOPUD), based in Everett, Wash., is the largest of the 28 public utility districts in the state and the second-largest publicly owned utility in the Pacific Northwest. Steve Klein, general manager of SNOPUD, is leading his utility toward smart grid capabilities one careful step at a time.''Like many utilities today, we have one foot in the past and one...
  • HOW UTILITIES CAN GET MORE OUT OF ERP TODAY + TOMORROW
    IN THIS ARTICLE, I WILL SHARE WITH YOU MY perspectives on what leading utilities are doing to get more value from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) investments by using these systems as foundational pieces for their smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments.Architecting today's intelligent utility and integrating the different aspects of a smart grid-including your...
  • SOME OF US WHO WERE IN THE MILITARY IN THE 1970S and who had access to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the world's first operational packet switching network and the predecessor of the Internet, were stunned by its capabilities. I can't say we envisioned what the Internet would become, but it was easy to see the potential of such an information system at your fingertips....
  • KC P&L DRAW IN THE WEB
    THE TERM ''MASHUPS'' HAS JOINED THE LEXICON OF Web 2.0 applications where Web-sourced information, such as maps, weather and other data, is aggregated on a Web site to be shared among a group. Being able to quickly and inexpensively assemble customized views of data drawn from multiple Web sources on a Web site holds great promise, but true mashups have just begun to arrive for utilities.What is...
  • TECHNOLOGY MEANS GIVE+TAKE
    AT AGE 70, BLUEBONNET COULD CHOOSE TO SETTLE in as a stodgy, creaky electric cooperative intent on clinging to its heydays of the past. Not quite.Indeed, the deft decision-makers at the Bastrop, Texas coop are arguably ahead of the utility pack in pursuit of their version of the smart grid. CEO Mark Rose elaborates on his unique vision for the progressive coop in a compact and eloquent document...
  • INFORMATION HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE commodities as emerging technologies help individuals manage data with ease and reliability. For utilities, the smart grid is creating opportunities to learn more about customer behavior and energy usage. While adopting these capabilities, insightful utilities are strategizing about their use of data to communicate with customers and industry...
  • EPB'S TELECOM EXPERTISE KEY TO HANDLING DATA INFLUX
    DAVID WADE, EPB'S SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ELECTRIC system, compares the significance of building a smart grid with the company's founding.''Back then, in 1935, we were selling a replacement to the kerosene lantern,'' said Wade.Today, EPB, a distribution-only public power utility serving Chattanooga, Tenn., and surrounding communities, is well on its way to developing a fiber-optic-based smart grid...
  • LEGAL + PUBLIC POLICY QUESTIONS
    THE ENTHUSIASM FOR A GOOD IDEA CAN SOMETIMES cloud the need for important discussions regarding the legal and public policy issues it raises. The push for the implementation of smart grid technology by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is such an example.Although the precise definition of a smart grid may vary depending upon whom you talk to, it is a means of more efficiently providing...
  • PJM TAKES INTELLIGENCE TO BROADER LEVEL
    IN ITS ROLE AS A REGIONAL TRANSMISSION ORGANIZATION (RTO), PJM Interconnection is used to forging alliances. But in its efforts to add increased intelligence to the grid, and enhance its own smart grid efforts, as well as those of its member companies, PJM is reaching out in many new directions.PJM's 550 member companies stretch from the mid-Atlantic region to Chicago, across a 13-state region...
  • CONSUMER ELECTRONICS' ROLE IN THE INTELLIGENT UTILITY
    WHEN THE UTILITY INDUSTRY TALKS ABOUT HOME ENERGY MANAGEMENT, people often focus on better managing home appliances. The industry's favorite examples include dishwashers running at night, dryers turning off their heating elements and air conditioners cycling down. But what about all of the other stuff we plug in-or just never unplug-each day? The ''plug load,'' which consists of many consumer...
  • NUDGING THE MAINSTREAM TO CONSERVE ENERGY
    UNDERUTILITY COMPANIES WANT PEOPLE TO SAVE ELECTRICITY. GOVERNMENTS want utilities to get people to save electricity. So now utilities are in the business of consumer behavior change-and to change behavior they want to use technology. Today's utilities are being challenged to become product managers with product giveaways, product recommendations, building Web sites and defining requirements for...
  • BALANCING UTILITY + CONSUMER CONTROL
    IT'S ONE THING TO HAVE AN INTELLIGENT UTILITY. IT'S ANOTHER TO have smart customers. Newer tools are permitting two-way communications between power companies and their patrons. But if the technologies are to reach their full potential, state regulators must assure fairness before eventually subjecting those users to market forces.Electricity prices vary during the day. And the thinking in some...
  • UTILITIES CAN LEVERAGE SMART TECHNOLOGIES
    FOR YEARS, SENSORS HAVE IDENTIFIED LINE SAGS FROM HEAVY LOADING and ambient air temperature. The next-generation sensors, according to Miles Keogh, director of grants and research for the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, can detect not only line sags from heavy loading and ambient air temperature, but also the physical stresses on line segments. ''...
  • ELECTRONIC VEGETATION MANAGEMENT IN ACTION
    FOR MOST UTILITIES, USING SMART GRID TECHNOLOGY FOR VEGETATION management information is still in the theoretical stages, and it will be well into the future before it is actually implemented. A few utilities, however, are already moving ahead with the technology.ONCOR EFFORTSDallas-based Oncor Electric Delivery Company began looking at smart grid technologies in 2004. ''At the time, we were...
  • LES + NPPD DISCUSS FUTURE OF NEBRASKA'S GRID
    VENTURING THROUGH THE WONDERFULLY ENDLESS CORNFIELDS OF LATE summer, I got not only the chance to see beautiful countryside, but also to stop and learn how some of Nebraska's largest utilities are building smarter grids and more intelligent utilities. I spoke with both Lincoln Electric System (LES) and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) about the applications they recently submitted for smart...
  • HEALTH CARE DEALS WITH SIMILAR DATA HEADACHES
    THERE IS BROAD AGREEMENT THAT ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS (EMRs)-or what some prefer to call electronic health records (EHRs)-are inevitable, just as inevitable as the growing size of a customer's utility record that will be driven by smart grid data.Much as utilities are planning for the storage of massive accumulations of smart grid data, the aggregation and storage of EMRs pose an equally...