Intelligent Utility Magazine January/February 2011
In This Issue
  • Industry leaders shape the future
    NAMING THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF THE ELECTRIC utility industry is always a tough call, and it's especially tough this year, as there are so many of them, and I am limited to choosing only 11.There were many standout utility leaders this year, as the continuing evolution of our industry moved very quickly, especially in the latter half of the year, as long-awaited stimulus grant contracts were...
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  • UtiliQ’s most intelligent utility forges ahead
    UtiliQ’s most intelligent utility forges ahead
    FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR, SEMPRA Energy's San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) led the pack as the most intelligent utility in the United States, according to our annual UtiliQ survey of this country's electric utilities.San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is a regulated public utility that supplies power to 1.4 million business and residential customers spread across a 4,100-square-...
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  • No. 2 utility credits a proactive community
    No. 2 utility credits a proactive community
    JUST LIKE UTILIQ LEADER SDG&E, AUSTIN Energy kept a firm hold on its No. 2 ranking for the second straight year.The nation's ninth-largest community-owned electric utility, Austin Energy serves 388,000 customers and a community of 900,000. Its smart grid program covers 440 miles, includes 500,000 devices and involves 100 terabytes of data.In addition, the utility is home to one of the nation'...
  • Testing technologies off-the-grid proves valuable
    Testing technologies off-the-grid proves valuable
    WHILE CLIMBING FROM UTILIQ'S FOURTH spot in 2009 to third place in 2010, PG&E Corp. also weathered a tempestuous media storm in the past year, and earned every point of its third-place finish.The utility first installed what we now describe as traditional meters to measure electricity used by customers in 1912. In the 1970s, PG&E began its first energy conservation programs, actively...
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  • Utility tackles AMI, focuses on customer needs
    WAYNE LONGCORE HAS A PENCHANT FOR MAKING PEOPLE think, a flair for analogy and a sense of timing.As he guides a visitor through Consumers Energy's Smart Services Learning Center in Jackson, Michigan, explaining distribution automation or in-home energy displays, Longcore combines professorial erudition with a magician's sense of drama.He sets up a potential scenario and flicks a switch. "...
  • Utility executives discuss the issues
    Utility executives discuss the issues
    A SMARTER ELECTRICITY GRID COULD FUNdamentally change the way people pay for and manage their electricity use. Smart grid investments could help reduce demand, save money and improve reliability and efficiency. But implementing the necessary changes can be challenging.Intelligent Utility recently sat down with a group of smart grid utility executives to discuss how the smart grid is impacting...
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  • Seattle City Light focuses on energy optimization
    Seattle City Light focuses on energy optimization
    SOME DAY, THE SMART GRID INFRASTRUCture being assembled by utilities across the country will become a huge enabling tool for power producers and consumers alike.Although it is likely still two to four years away, a fully operating smart grid will allow for huge benefits like real-time asset management, new data management knowledge and news ways to manage bidirectional power flow on the grid...
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  • Balancing distributed generation, microgrids and grid reliability
    UTILITIES HAVE 100 YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS experience, constructed atop bedrock commitments to service reliability and availability, as well as worker and customer safety.The utility's entire business model is based on long-term justification of ratepayers' investment in high-quality, proven, dependable and safe equipment that sometimes comes at a very high price and always is expected to...
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  • ComEd and PECO deliver on an ambitious mobile platform
    JUST OVER A YEAR AGO, TWO ELECTRIC UTILITIES THAT ARE part of the Exelon Corporation-ComEd and PECO-delivered on an ambitious project to provide a mobile dispatch and workforce management platform that impacted virtually all aspects of the utilities' operations.Successfully integrating technological applications and capabilities represented more than just add-on benefits to customer service...
  • Some believe Stuxnet worm marks new age of super-cyber weapons
    ATTACK OF THE SCADA KILLER IS NOT A NOT NEW HORROR film, but a real scenario that sends chills down the spines of electric utility operators. It could be directed by a mischievous hacker, a terrorist group, state-sponsored espionage, or by a disgruntled employee, or a former one. And let's not dismiss those miscreants with proficiency, a computer and dreams of destruction that see the disruption...
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  • The new utility focus: sell, sell, sell
    UTILITIES ARE SHIFTING THEIR ATTENTION FROM DELIVERING commodities to partnering and offering choices to their customers. It's a paradigm shift for utilities today-what might our customers need from us as a service provider? This new perspective is not entirely accepted by all policy makers and consultants.But, as we go forward with system upgrades in an atmosphere where customers may question...
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  • Alliance formed to establish national ADR standard
    IN LATE OCTOBER 2010, A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE WAS reached in the development of automated demand response (ADR) with the formation of the OpenADR Alliance, a government/industry collaboration dedicated to establishing a national ADR standard communications protocol designed to help advance a smarter grid.OpenADR standardizes a message format used for Auto-DR so dynamic price and reliability...
  • PPL and Avista initiate infrastructure upgrades
    AS POWER ENGINEERS, MARKETERS AND PROJECT MANAGERS are acutely aware, substation automation and distribution automation are currently experiencing the most dramatic, shaping events in their modern history with a whole raft of disruptive technologies we call the smart grid.Traditional distribution systems were designed to perform one function: to distribute electrical energy to end-users. It has...
  • EPB reduces emissions while producing energy savings
    WHEN IT COMES TO ROLLING OUT THE SMART GRID, AT LEAST one local electricity distributor says that it is about a lot more than just the meters. Chattanooga-based Electric Power Board (EPB) says that it is about optimizing technology for the benefit of the entire community.Smart grid systems center on controlling energy use, which in turn will limit emissions, preserve the environment and increase...