Intelligent Utility September / October 2011
In This Issue
  • Transmission planning overhaul
    TRANSMISSION REGULATORS ARE THINKING BIG. A federal commission has delivered a 650-page blueprint for transmission planners that emphasizes regional coordination and gives public policy added weight in determinations for the expected build-out.We've been discussing it here [in RenewablesBiz] for some time because the implications are pretty serious for widespread renewable energy integration -...
  • Using the data to provide new efficiencies
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
     THANKS TO THE INFORMATION SMART METERS and other smart grid technology is bring in, utilities are beginning to face an explosion of new data. Now the question becomes: what can this data tell us, and how can we use it to better our services, understand our customer better, and make our utility operations more efficient. Aligning business intelligence, or BI, with an analytics strategy,...
  • McKinsey report touts benefits
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    WE HAVE OFTEN WRITTEN ABOUT THE importance of data management and analytics, especially given the proliferation of data that often results from utility smart grid investments.A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that our industry is not alone. With computers and cell phones continuing to pervade our daily activities and as millions of networked sensors are being embedded in...
  • JEA talks about challenges and successes
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    TO GAUGE HOW FAR A COMPANY HAS COME, IT IS IMPORTANT to look at its beginnings.For JEA (formerly the Jacksonville Electric Authority), those beginnings hail back to 1895, when the city of Jacksonville, Florida, established an electric system. On March 7 of that year, the switch was thrown at the original Main Street Power Plant, providing nighttime-only service for lighting.By 1932, the utility...
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  • Preparing employees for technology changes
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    THE GROWING CONVERGENCE OF TECHNOLOGY, communications, computing and energy systems in the intelligent electric utility is casting a new light on the optimimum skill sets needed for the new utility employee.Add to that the complicating factor of an aging and retiring workforce, with approximately 50 percent of the engineering workforce eligible for retirement in 2015, according to studies...
  • Knowledge Summit co-chair Robert Sarfi examines the issues of an intelligent utility
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    AS AN ENGINEER AND A UTILITY MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, Boreas Group co-founder Robert Sarfi is widely recognized for his experience in delivering business vision and technology solutions to electric utilities.This year, Energy Central asked Sarfi to lead the Operations committee for the Knowledge2011 Utility Executive Summit, bring his experience to bear on the issues affecting electric utility...
  • But the technologies they’re adding are
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    JEA HAS BEEN PURSUING THE EVOLUTION OF ITS ELECTRIC grid and generation systems almost forever, it seems.The 116-year-old electric utility has always maintained a leading edge, not only in its technology deployment, but also in the way its employees think, and approach their jobs.That's one of the reasons why the term "smart grid" is so confining for JEA.Just a term"One of the problems with `...
  • Q&A with American Municipal Power’s Branndon Kelley
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    BRANNDON KELLEY, CIO AT AMERICAN MUNICIPAL POWER, based in Columbus, Ohio, is well-known for articulating the issues faced by CIOs in an era of change. Kelley says that CIOs need to be "champions of change," one of the themes of the upcoming Knowledge2011 Utility Executive Summit, Nov. 7-9.In this Q&A, Kelley talks about generational issues in the workforce, the qualities he looks for in an...
  • Using MDM to improve operational efficiencies
    Intelligent Utility September / October: The Data Revolution
    WITH ALL NEW TECHNOLOGIES, RETURN ON investment (ROI) is always a crucial component to determining a business case for deployment. When it comes to smart meters, AMI and meter data management technology, you need look no further than the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP) for a compelling ROI story.The third largest public power utility in the U.S. has been on...
  • Intelligent Utility September / October: The Data Revolution
    SALT RIVER PROJECT (SRP) FOCUSES ON unique customer needs in a variety of ways. In 1993, it initiated M-Power, now the largest electricity prepayment program in the United States.In an EPRI technical update on the project, published in October 2010, EPRI program manager Bernard Neenan wrote: "The customer population has grown to about 100,000 (approximately 12 percent of all residences served by...
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  • Cross-functional skills needed for the future
    Intelligent Utility September / October: The Data Revolution
    JUST AS CONGRESSIONAL FOCUS RETURNS TO job creation, a KEMA report released recently for the GridWise Alliance argues that smart grid "presents an opportunity for the United States to develop a strong native industry around development, deployment, maintenance and servicing smart grid infrastructure and technology."But it won't be a slam-dunk, by any means.The KEMA report "The U.S. Smart Grid...
  • Southern Company CIO offers her thoughts upon retirement
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    On the industry's biggest changes in recent yearsI've seen two really major changes. The first is environmental regulations - that's not something that you heard about when I came to work for the company 33 years ago. I think that's been a huge change, just the whole fact that, with climate change and people's awareness around the environment, there's been tremendous pressure put on us to be very...
  • Facing 2012, this hurdle must be mastered
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
     THIS MONTH, THE TOP 11 HAVE COALESCED INTO A BIG TOP 1. There are numerous challenges facing electric utilities in the coming year, not the least of them being a federal election in which the outcome is anything but certain.In discussions with utility executives, consultants and vendor partners over the course of 2011, it has become clear to me that there are certain "sophomoric" challenges...
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  • Central Vermont Public Service tackles AMI, automation, dynamic pricing
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    CENTRAL VERMONT PUBLIC SERVICE (CVPS) IS A RELATIVELY small, investor-owned utility (yet the largest in Vermont) that is undertaking a big task: modernize the grid with technologies and programs familiar to Intelligent Utility readers.I thought it would be insightful to share a converation our editors had with CVPS on how they're getting this done, leveraging internal resources and communicating...
  • Utility leaders discuss the benefits versus the challenges
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    AS SOME OF THE UTILITIES EARLY OFF THE POST ARE NOW completing their smart meter deployments, others are looking for a status check on the benefits utilities and consumers can expect to achieve from technology implementation. "If you think about a smart grid, the term `smart grid' at its roots, I think we all need to be very cautious about how we use the term, because it means so many different...
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  • FERC finalizes regional cost allocation
    FEDERAL REGULATORS HAVE APPROVED A LONG-ANTICIPATED rule for transmission that gives "public policy requirements" important status in determining planning requirements and cost allocation. Renewable energy integration is the policy requirement most widely understood as the beneficiary of the policy, which has been controversial since the rule was proposed 13 months ago.The Federal Energy...
  • AEP uses SaaS to improve environmental compliance
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    WHEN ORVILLE AND WILBUR WRIGHT FIRST FLEW OFF INTO the clouds, they knew their newly invented infrastructure needed improvement. Even though they trusted that the underlying aeronautical principle was sound, they gambled on a long-term return on their pioneering investment.The same may be said today of cloud computing, or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), a versatile tool utilities can use to better...
  • EnergyUnited’s work management system crosses silos
    Intelligent Utility September / October 2011:  The Data Revolution
    WHEN ENERGYUNITED SET OUT TO FIND AN AUTOMATED staking (or work management) package, we knew we also wanted to be able to integrate all of our current systems and applications, in order to save time and money. Because we are a cooperative, it is imperative that we keep costs as low as possible for our membership and establish processes that maximize the return on all investments we make....