Intelligent Utility Magazine March/April 2011
In This Issue
  • A shifting focus
    BY MANY ACCOUNTS, THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN "THE YEAR of the consumer" in the power industry. That distinction, of course, is a double-edged sword.The consumer - dare I mention "the Bakersfield effect"? - came roaring onto the national scene as pockets of discontent over smart meters made themselves known. In several high-profile regulatory cases, state utility commissions slowed the trajectory of...
  • Utilities discuss the world of negawatts
    DEMAND RESPONSE-MOST SIMPLY DEFINED AS the decision not to consume energy in response to price and other factors-holds enormous potential to balance the power system, integrate variable-output renewable resources into the grid and increase the efficiency of the electric utility industry.The U.S. Congress has directed development of demand response as a national policy, but take-up has been...
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  • PJM Interconnection and SDG&E share their favorites
    EVERYTHING COMES DOWN TO DATA: ITS AVAILABILITY, ITS reliability, and the ability to be able to monitor and control everything from electricity flow and metering data to utility enterprise management information, costs, budgets and rates.And now, there are computerized dashboards for all of it. From distribution and transmission operation control rooms to customer billing systems and more, data...
  • Long-term ratepayer obligation charge bonds may provide answers
    MODERNIZATION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN ELECTRIC power grids is crucial to grid security, reliability and efficiency. Doing so will provide economic, competitive and environmental benefits for the United States. However, it is also expensive. Methods must be found to easily and economically fund the investment. Fortunately, there is a time-tested, efficient way to raise funds that has survived the...
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  • The microgrid concept gains steam internationally and at home
    FACEBOOK MAY HAVE TURNED THE SOCIAL media world on its ear, but there's a social electricity networking concept being floated in Finland that is gaining steam across the world, as well.The idea, essentially, is the creation of microgrids giving communities and individuals more control over their power consumption. But it's more than that: once up and running, it will also allow individuals within...
  • Bonneville Power provides within-hour balancing services for wind
    AS MORE EMPHASIS IS PUT ON GOING GREEN and weaning the U.S. off expensive and dirty fossil fuels, utilities continually find themselves at the focal point of green energy initiatives.Renewable energy from the sun, wind and other sources is moving onto the grid at a rapid pace, often in response to aggressive renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) adopted at the state level. In Oregon, the latest...
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  • OGE plans to use the whole brain rather than separate neurons
    IT'S THE OLD CHICKEN-AND-EGG CONUNDRUM, UPDATED. New grid sensors, from smart meters to phasor measurement units and more, are providing a slew of new data for utilities to use to increase the reliability of their product - electricity - while also enabling them to shape electricity consumption and better optimize the grid's performance.The science of data analysis and analytics has been...
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  • Using transmission intelligence + flexibility
    "I THINK WITH TRANSMISSION, WHEN WE LOOK AT WHAT'S going to be happening over the next 10 to 15 years, we have to go back to the basics."With these words, Phil Harris, CEO of Tres Amigas LLC and former head of PJM Interconnection, opened a provocative discussion about the future of transmission in North America. Speaking as a panelist in a recent EnergyBiz Leadership Series webcast, "Game...
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  • AEP tunes into cross-functional teamwork
    THERE ARE MYRIAD CHALLENGES UTILITY COMPANIES FACE as they build a smarter grid. Providing the proper people, processes and systems are only part of the challenge. Utilities also need to provide the management structure needed to ensure that all of the moving parts of such an undertaking are successful.Most utilities are using cross-functional teams to lead their smart grid transformation. In a...
  • SRP employs strict cyber precautions
    IT'S RAINING ONES AND ZEROS, AND UTILITIES ARE DUCKING for protection just like every other business, institution and government in the world. Data that used to have protective shelter under lock and key with limited employee access is now whizzing about in an ever-increasing mix of wire, fiber and wireless transmissions and storage technologies.Information is constantly being aggregated and...
  • A conversation with Ontario's Ann Cavoukian
    ANN CAVOUKIAN, INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER for Ontario, is on a mission to raise awareness of the fundamental importance of consumer data privacy and to embed it into smart grid systems early on. She calls her approach, which has been "operationalized" at Hydro One in Ontario, "Privacy by Design."INTELLIGENT UTILITY Tell us your view of the fundamental notion of privacy and its...