Intelligent Utility Magazine November/December 2011
In This Issue
  • Experts weigh in on the top challenges for the coming year
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    IT'S ONE THING FOR ME TO PROGNOSTICATE ABOUT 2012 industry trends using my own, admittedly somewhat murky crystal ball. A quick glance back at last year's Top 11 projections for 2011 shows I was right in 7 of 11 predictions, with only four being a little over-anticipatory in nature. Electric vehicles did not, in fact, begin to push the limits of distribution transformers; intermittent renewable...
  • Glendale Water & Power shares its outreach strategy
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    GLENDALE WATER & POWER (GWP), A medium-sized municipal utility based in Glendale, CA, started brainstorming the idea of entering the smart grid around 2007. By 2009, ideas on paper actually led to the utility starting one of its largest utility projects ever—deploying an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). At the same time, the utility, which provides both electric and water services to...
  • Decentralizing has its advantages
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    THERE'S AN OLD ADAGE THAT CAUTIONS there's no point reinventing the wheel.Oftimes, it's true, but every once in a while, taking a step back and looking at potential new uses for that old yet favorite shirt-or wheels-has its advantages.So it is with the concept of distributed generation, and distributed energy resources.A history and a legacyBack in 2006, in a paper titled "Installing distributed...
  • Distributed generation can strike a balance, change the paradigm
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    MOST OF THE WORLD CONSIDERS ELECTRICITY to be the answer to clean energy. The assumption is that all electricity can be created in a renewable fashion. This means a change in the way the industry operates.For the last century, the power industry has been a load-serving industry-in short, running according to the maxim, "You turn on a switch and we will make more." In the future, that basic...
  • The technology’s all coming together—now for the markets
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    DEMAND RESPONSE IS EVOLVING AND, AS markets continue to change across the United States, it will evolve from a resource of last resort to one with market value, just like generation.In the past, demand response has been used as an emergency response for reliability by electric utilities. Today, though, it has the ability to be used as an economic resource.Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...
  • Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    At Connectivity Week earlier this year, I was asked to moderate a panel titled, "What is ADR and Why Should I Care?"Demand response programs have been around for decades, primarily as interruptible programs, but technological advances including Internet, smart metering, and reduced cost control have reduced barriers to entry, and increased interest in demand-side management has led to explosive...
  • A transmission owner’s perspective
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (FERC) ORDER 1000 has set the industry abuzz. Energy Central's TransmissionHub discussed the opportunities and challenges offered by Order 1000 in an October webcast with a panel of industry representatives, including one transmission participant. Here, edited for length, are excerpts from Nina Plaushin's comments. Plaushin is vice president of federal affairs...
  • Ontario’s PowerStream builds communications infrastructure
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    REPERCUSSIONS OF THE INFAMOUS BLACKOUT OF AUG. 14, 2003, that impacted northeastern North America were swift and wide-ranging, affecting more than 10 million people in Ontario, who were among those left without power for extended periods of time. The outage put into motion a series of events that would subsequently reshape the province's electrical power infrastructure and customer engagement....
  • Kauai Island Utility Cooperative gets green light for smart meters
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    HAWAII'S KAUAI ISLAND UTILITY COOPERATIVE (KIUC) received the green light from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission at the end of September for its part in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's (NRECA's) Cooperative Research Network (CRN) smart grid demonstration project.The KIUC project, which will span five years, will see the installation of about 33,000 smart meters, a...
  • Analytics create business value for utility grid & customer operations
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    RECENTLY A FEW "NON-UTILITY" FRIENDS ASKED ME ABOUT what's going on in the utility industry. They had been hearing about smart meters and smart grid in the news (not surprisingly, they had not been hearing an abundance of good news), and some of them have had smart meters installed at their homes. After a lifetime of thinking about their utility on only two types of occasions and neither of those...
  • The whole becomes more than the sum of its parts
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    IDEALLY, THE INTELLIGENT UTILITY IS EVOLVING, PIECE BY PIECE, system by system, into a "system of systems" whereby the whole, and the abilities of the whole, become immensely more than the sum of its parts. On an architectural level, the disparate components are coming together, piece by piece, to form the whole. On a human level, the departments and responsibilities within the utility might be...
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  • Recent reports focus on what it takes to move forward
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    IT WAS A BUSY WEEK IN LATE OCTOBER, AS BOTH THE SMART Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) and J.D. Power and Associates released reports on electricity consumer behavior.SGCC's report, Excellence in Consumer Engagement, examined customer engagement strategies and tactics used to engage with their consumers from a range of smart grid programs across the United States. Of more than 1,500 customer-...
  • Why smart grid advocates should learn about utility regulation
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    IT HAS BECOME APPARENT THAT MANY SMART GRID advocates don't understand the current regulated electric system. They don't understand how we analyze utility investments or how prices are set. They don't understand the incentives provided to utilities or protections required by customers. Put simply, they don't understand the "regulatory compact" between customers and utilities.The smart grid has...
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  • NRECA project brings security template to members
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    FLINT ENERGIES IS A COOPERATIVE UTILITY serving 17 counties in central Georgia, from four customers in the poetically named Chattahoochee County to more than 55,000 in Houston County. That's 88,000 meters in all.And you can count the number of employees in Flint's IT department on one hand.That's one reason Frank Sams, manager of network systems for Flint Energies, is glad to be one of nearly two...
  • A decade of innovation for United Illuminating
    Intelligent Utility November/December 2011:  Generation Intelligence
    UNITED ILLUMINATING (UI) IS AN INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITY headquartered in New Haven, Conn. UI serves 325,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas. As vice president of client fulfillment and electric system operations, Joseph Thomas' responsibilities include all aspects of revenue-cycle services, from metering, billing, collections, call...