Intelligent Utility Magazine May/June 2009
In This Issue
  • FORTUM TAKES SMART TO THE NEXT LEVEL
    FOUNDED IN 1998 THROUGH THE MERGER OF STATE-OWNED IMATRAN VOIMA and Neste Oyj, Fortum has grown to be one of Northern Europe's largest energy groups. Its distribution arm serves Finland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Russia and the Baltic region. In 2007, the company's power generation unit established two subdivisions - energy efficiency solutions and renewables - to address its strict emissions...
  • STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE AND THE INTELLIGENT UTILITY
    AS UTILITIES PLAN A SMART GRID VISION, A KEY STRATEGY IS HOW TO manage the information flow between devices and enterprise business systems. It's about advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). It's about real-time. It's about the spatial context of data.Enter today's enterprise architect. Enterprise architects bridge business and technology in organizations. The role and importance of an...
  • DUKE, PG&E TALK SMART ENTERPRISES
    A SMARTER GRID OFTEN CONJURES UP VISIONS OF METERS, ELECTRIC vehicles and home energy displays - essentially, the tangible elements. But what really makes these technologies - and many others - feasible are the systems that are running behind the scenes. So, this brought up a question for me: How do smart grid projects impact enterprise architecture? To find out, I spoke with Brian Abrahamson,...
  • UNIVERSITY RESEARCH ASSOCIATION LEADS THE WAY IN POWER ENGINEERING
    CLEMSON UNIVERSITY IS KNOWN AS A TOP RESEARCH INSTITUTION. Ranked No. 22 among public universities of 2008 by US News and World Report, the Tigers attract brilliant minds from all over the world. This pool of talent, coupled with immense resources, enables Clemson to play an integral role in the future of the power industry.In the 1980s, Clemson partnered with Duke Power, Santee Copper,...
  • THIRD-PARTY IT RESOURCE STRATEGY
    A LONG TIME AGO, IT DEPARTMENTS TRIED TO MEET ALL OF THEIR STAFFING needs with full-time, in-house resources. As the pace of technology change increased, it became more difficult to find and afford the kind of talent required - particularly on a full-time basis. Often, the specialized talent was only needed for a short period of time during a transition or to train existing staff. It became...
  • HOW KSAs WILL CHANGE TO MEET DEMANDS OF TOMORROW'S UTILITY
    WHAT DOES INTELLIGENCE MEAN IN RELATION TO THE UTILITY WORKFORCE of the future? According to Wikipedia, intelligence is ''a property of the mind that encompasses…abilities such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas…and to learn.''Intelligent utilities will need an intelligent workforce, but this doesn't mean that today's employees...
  • CEO DRIVES OG&E INTO SMART POWER
    ONE OF THE WORLD'S BEST EXAMPLES OF SMART GRID TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS IN action is smack in the middle of the U.S. heartland at Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E).OG&E - whose service territory covers a sizable stretch of the state and a small portion of Arkansas - is a storied electric utility that's been in business longer than Oklahoma has been a state.In fact, Oklahoma only...
  • COOP LEADER SEEKS ''SMART TALK'' FROM ALL EMPLOYEES
    IF BILLY MARRICLE EVER ISSUED A FIAT DICTATING exactly how the San Bernard Electric Cooperative will be evolving toward a smart grid, he surmises he would have an employee rebellion on his hands.It's not that the Texan isn't in charge of his 71-year-old distribution coop. Indeed, as president and general manager, Marricle is the ultimate decision maker. But it isn't the 50-year-old's style...
  • STRONG LEADERS KEY FOR INTELLIGENT UTILITY
    ''MY ELECTRIC BILL HAS BEEN WRONG THE LAST TWO months!''''We had three outages during the storms that came through last month!''''I don't trust that electronic thingee you've put on my house! What is this - Big Brother?''The intelligent utility town hall meeting was off to an auspicious start. The citizens of the intelligent utility had had enough of the promises of ''great service at great...
  • VISION REALITY STRATEGY CENTERPOINT ENERGY'S JOURNEY
    THE GRID HAS BEEN GETTING SMARTER FOR A WHILE, BUT sometimes it gets a significant brain boost. CenterPoint Energy started testing broadband over power line (BPL) and advanced metering in 2005. Now, the company is deploying 2.4 million meters by the end of 2014.How did CenterPoint Energy get to where it is today? How did it find success? To answer these questions, I swung by Houston a few...
  • STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESS IN BUILDING SMARTER GRIDS
    FOR CENTERPOINT ENERGY PERSONNEL, COMPANY commitment to the journey helped them stay on track with their advanced metering project. Of course, each utility is different, so I chatted with a few folks from KEMA about how to take CenterPoint Energy's lessons to the next level.According to KEMA, the key thing to remember for building a smarter grid and a more intelligent utility is that ''it is...
  • OCEAN POWER IS ON THE HORIZON
    OCEAN ENERGY IS LITERALLY A DROP IN THE BUCKET OF OVERALL WORLD electric production, but experts at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are optimistic it will grow to 13,000 MW by 2025. For utility operators, sea power promises more forecastable generation than wind or solar, and better diversified renewable portfolios.ADVANTAGESOcean power offers several advantages to utility...
  • COMPREHENSIVE INITIAL STUDY IS CRITICAL
    UTILITIES HAVE BEGUN CONSIDERING OFFSHORE wind as a source of new energy. Delmarva Power recently agreed to a long-term offshore wind power purchase contract, and organizations such as Long Island Power Authority and Public Service Enterprise Group are exploring the development and operation of offshore wind farms. The energy industry often focuses on the real-time data and operating...
  • CPS ENERGY CONSIDERS BUILDINGS & TRANSPORT
    IMAGINE A FUTURE WHERE THE CAR YOU DRIVE NOT only serves as a means of transportation, but also may be more valuable as a producer of energy. Imagine the office building where you work being used not only to conduct business, but also as an energy source to power computers, lighting and other electric demands of your company.And imagine the day when your home is no longer just a roof over...
  • RENEWABLE POTENTIAL FOR FOOD
    IF YOU THOUGHT THE BIGGEST SOLAR ARRAY IN THE Americas was in the Southwestern United States, you'd be right. At 140 acres, the site's 70,000 panels produce peak energy of 14 MW, or enough energy to supply 14,000 homes. But what may not be widely known is that the solar site is at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, providing about onefourth of the base's power, with the capability of selling...
  • ATC ALREADY EMPLOYS SOPHISTICATED TOOLS
    TELL KEN COPP THAT THE U.S. ELECTRIC GRID NEEDS TO ''GET SMART,'' and he'll politely set you straight. Copp, the strategic technical advisor for American Transmission Company (ATC), is but one of an increasingly vocal number of power engineers, and transmission and distribution utility owners who beg to differ with the popular opinion that our electric grid is somehow ''dumb,'' or...
  • AVISTA FOCUSES ON DISTRIBUTION INTELLIGENCE
    ''IT IS ALL ABOUT A SMARTER GRID, THAT'S REALLY ALL THAT IT IS,'' said Don Kopczynski, vice president, transmission and distribution operations, Avista Utilities. ''There are better controls, faster controls and more information-so we've been on this journey for a dozen years already.'' Avista Utilities is looking at smart grid and intelligent utility seriously, but ''we're going...
  • WE ENERGIES, OTHER UTILITIES HAVE BEEN WORKING ON SMARTER GRIDS FOR A WHILE
    MANY PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT DESPITE THE TREMENDOUS HYPE OF the past couple of years, and the push toward advanced metering infrastructure and home automation, utilities have actually been adding intelligence to their distribution and transmission grids for a number of years. And they are making good progress. Several examples exist, such as the one at We Energies.DA TO THE NEXT LEVELWe...
  • UTILITY CONNECTION TO BUILDING AUTOMATION
    IF EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING, THEN AT LEAST THE ECONOMIC crisis is driving business managers to ferret out wasteful spending habits. ''Energy efficiency is the cheapest resource we have and automating more buildings should be a high priority,'' said Ken Kozak, an electrical equipment engineer for Michigan's Upper Peninsula Power Company. Quickly shaving 10, 20, even 30 percent off...
  • AUSTIN ENERGY'S PECAN STREET PROJECT
    THE POWER SECTOR, WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 40 PERCENT of annual energy use in the United States, is the single largest consumer of energy nationwide. The transportation sector, which is responsible for 29 percent of annual energy use in the United States, is the second largest consumer of energy. These two sectors also depend heavily on depleting resources, are prone to supply or...
  • OTHER AUSTIN CONSTITUENTS JOIN THE PECAN STREET PROJECT
    THE COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS, IS DEDICATED TO SOLVING THE ENERGY challenges facing the United States. With the creation of the Pecan Street Project, the city hopes to develop a smart grid on a significant scale. The City of Austin, Austin Energy, the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and the Environmental Defense Fund will all play major roles in developing the program. But in...
  • SHOULD WE FOCUS ON THE SMART METER
    TALK OF INTELLIGENT UTILITIES AND SMART METERS IS HOT THESE days-things that the American people never pondered before. And while the descriptions may be arcane, the purpose of the technologies is rather simple: to get consumers to use less energy and to minimize power outages. How's that? Utilities that have adequate capacity generally concentrate on the tools to increase grid...
  • Xcel Energy Xcel Energy is in the midst of installing its SmartGridCity in Boulder, Colo. For the time being, the utility operates in a state that does not have dynamic pricing programs. But the pressure to cut consumption is palpable given that Congress is expected to soon enact formal carbon controls. With that, Xcel expects by 2010 to begin a dialogue with its regulators and...
  • WE ENERGIES AND ONLINE ENERGY ANALYSIS
    WE ENERGIES PLACES A LOT OF IMPORTANCE ON RELIABILITY AND CUSTOMER satisfaction. We also have a clear track record of utilizing innovative technologies to maintain excellence in reliability and customer satisfaction. As a services manager, I am proud of our initiatives to provide our employees and our customers with the intelligence they need to improve efficiency, manage energy...
  • NU FINDS EARLY BENEFITS IN STORM RESPONSE
    NORTHEAST UTILITIES (NU), NEW ENGLAND'S LARGEST UTILITY SYSTEM, had a dramatic number of services out from this winter's ice storm and even more dramatic results with the restoration process. It's a story of looking toward a smarter grid future, setting up a platform to provide the necessary structure and finding great benefits while still early in the process. NU serves more than 2...
  • SMARTER STRATEGIES FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT
    UTILITIES HAVE ALWAYS HAD REAMS OF INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON HOW their assets are functioning in the field. Unfortunately, very little of it is available at a moment's notice, and very little of it is interconnected. Smart technology can change all of that. ''Today, we have islands of assets, with no end-to-end view,'' noted Srini Krishnamurthy, vice president, corporate...
  • DUKE AND PEPCO DISCUSS EFFORTS
    WHILE FEW UTILITIES HAVE EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT CREATING PLANS FOR utilizing smart technologies as a way to improve asset management, some utilities have already been to the drawing board and are well on their way. These include Duke Energy and Pepco Holdings. OPPORTUNITIES The goal at Duke is to use smart grid technology for asset management of distribution networks and substations...
  • PLANTS + WIRES + IT = CHALLENGES
    SECURITY. IT'S EVERYWHERE, AND IT'S HARD TO AVOID THE TOPIC. IT'S not that we in the electric sector don't take the word ''security'' seriously, but everywhere we turn there's a new regulation on security. And we've all seen the constant barrage of bulletins letting us know about the latest vulnerabilities and asking us to protect ourselves accordingly. But what does being secure...
  • SCADA NOW ADDS SECURITY CHALLENGES
    THE GREATEST FEARS OF DAMAGES FROM ATTACKS TO THE ELECTRICAL CYBER transmission and distribution infrastructure are coming to fruition. This is happening even after 9/11 focused attention on securing such critical infrastructure. The so-called ''Aurora generator test,'' conducted in 2007, exposed just how vulnerable supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems are at...
  • Telecom's Crystal Ball For Digitizing Jobs
    DIGITIZING THE GRID WILL CHANGE the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) for the utility employee of the future. We know that much, but the big unknown is how will those KSAs change? And where is a good crystal ball when you need one? Since my snow globe wasn't working, I thought about other industries that have gone through a digital revolution, which brought me to the telecom...
  • Houlong, China
    THIS IS A PICTURE TAKEN IN THE SMALL TOWN OF HOULONG IN THE QUAN GANG DISTRICT OF QUANZOU, which is in the fujian province of china. even though the booth is located right off the main road through town and is surrounded by condos and shops, it didn't last. the picture is a classic example of bad market timing and rushing to use a technology without thinking about the best way to...
  • SCE MOVES TO SECURE ITS END-USER CONNECTIONS
    WHEN THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION(PUC) speaks, Southern California Edison (SCE) listens. To help conserve energy, the state agency mandated that utilities put a plan in place to deploy smart meters. However, before the initiative could move forward, SCE needed to make sure that such connections would be secure, a process that included gathering input from the other energy providers...
  • BLUE RIDGE PARTNERS WITH ALLEGHENY ENERGY TO PREPARE WORKERS FOR THE FUTURE
    AS THE DEMAND FOR QUALITY TRAINED LINE WORKERS GROWS, INSTITUTIONS such as Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (CTC) in Martinsburg, W.Va., are providing much-needed education and training for the utility industry. The new electricity distribution technology program at Blue Ridge CTC offers students a safe and successful future as linemen. Daniel Steerman, technical program director, Blue...