Intelligent Utility Magazine May / June 2012
In This Issue
  • Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    According to Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU commissioner for research, innovation and science, Europe's first priority is to focus on R&D policy in order to reach the great challenges facing it. Two such challenges, she said, directly relate to the European power system: climate change and energy security. The latter, she said, cannot be realized without a reliable electricity supply.In late...
  • Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    Three engineering students from AC Patil College of Engineering, Navi Mumbai, have developed a prototype robot for inspecting transmission lines. The robot, which is equipped with thermal and ultrasonic sensors, as well as a camera, is designed to identify faults while sliding over transmission lines, especially in areas where faults cannot be spotted easily due to the line's placement, such as...
  • Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    The Northeast Group recently released new research on Brazil's smart grid investments, forecasting that they will reach US$36.6 billion by 2022. Curbing electricity theft tops the list of the country's most urgent imperatives for smart grid. According to the report: "A very significant problem in Brazil is the high rate of electricity theft. This is both a public safety issue and also unfairly...
  • In the large municipal electric utilities of the U.S.
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    WITH THIS ISSUE, WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK WITHIN OUR Top 12 for 2012 at the champions of large municipal electric utilities across the United States.As with the unsung heroes of large electricity co-ops, the first thing these champions will tell you is that they represent their entire team. Therefore, my choices here both honor these 12 people and the teams with which they work.These 12 represent,...
  • Old-school conferences reveal high-tech challenges
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    CONFERENCE SEASON IS DEFINITELY UPON US. AT THE Utility Analytics Institute we've been hitting the road-including for our recently wrapped-up Utility Analytics Summit and the upcoming Utility Analytics Forum in September-to talk and learn about what's happening in the analytics space. Through all the good old-fashioned handshaking and roller-bag lugging, we're seeing some pretty high-tech...
  • Collaboration, not silos, drives productivity
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    SILOS IN BUSINESS ARE FAMILIAR BARRIERS TO effectiveness, particularly when change drives an organization's agenda.Yet achieving desired outcomes requires focus, and focus often is expressed in organizational units for many good reasons. Departments are comprised of people with relevant knowledge and skills, inevitably leading to separate missions and cultures between departments.New challenges...
  • OG&E’s director of grid intelligence talks about deployment
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    AS DISCUSSED IN THE MARCH/APRIL ISSUE OF THIS MAGAZINE, the electric distribution system is undergoing what can only be described as an evolutionary change. We brought together two utilities that are in the trenches of implementing new distribution management systems (DMS) in an April Intelligent Utility Realities webcast on DMS lessons from the field.During the webcast, Scott Milanowski,...
  • TransAlta Utilities, and others, tackle data
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    ENTERPRISE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND smart grid integration are the heart and lungs of the new utility world. That is, if we accept that smart grid integration is the heart, then enterprise information management is surely the lungs of the intelligent utility.Enterprise information management, at its core, means the structuring and governance of information assets across the utility, overarching...
  • A standards-based approach to integrating utility operations
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    WE ARE IN A PERIOD OF RAPID, GLOBAL rollout of smart grid standards. With the smart grid's promise dependent on crossing the various geographic, operational and technological boundaries that have historically defined electricity delivery around the world, standards serve as bridges for two-way power and information flow end-to-end across an infrastructure that more closely connects energy...
  • Real-time information is important, too
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    WE ALL KNOW-OR SHOULD-THAT "CONVENTIONAL WISDOM" often means hearsay repeated too often. Actual, bona fide research, of course, can cut through the fog of conventional wisdom, but only if the audience is receptive and willing to examine the facts.Thus we offer some insights into customer behavior from "SMUD's Residential Summer Solutions Study," conducted last summer by Karen Herter of Herter...
  • Orangeburg DPU will realize quick return on RFID investment
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    THE ORANGEBURG, S.C., DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES used to have one of the simplest utility pole inspection programs in the industry."Our policy was basically that when the pole falls down, we put one back up," acknowledged John Bagwell, director of the Electric Division at Orangeburg DPU, located about 40 miles southeast of Columbia, S.C. "We never really used to inspect poles."That was before...
  • E-Energy pilot projects a research priority
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    IN THE COURSE OF BASIC ENERGY REFORM, GERMANY IS vastly changing the structure of its supply system in the coming decades. "Affordable and reliable energy supply is essential for our industrial growth. Climate change, growing energy demand and depleting raw materials pose great challenges for Germany, as also reflected in the energy and climate policy decisions of the last two years: First,...
  • When the sum is much more than its parts
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    FOR MORE THAN A DECADE, GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION systems (GIS) have been inextricably linked to outage management. The reason? GIS is able to integrate all the essential data from SCADA systems, customer information, work orders and the network, and put it all into play for a more rapid field crew response to outages.Whether the utility is large or small, GIS has its advantages. Service quality and...
  • Ideas and focus explored at Utility Analytics Summit
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    WHEN YOU GET FOLKS TO A 6:30 A.M. ROUNDTABLE-Eastern time no less-you know you have folks dedicated to analytics. At the recent Utility Analytics Institute (UAI) Summit, we pulled together utility analytics professionals to talk about all things analytics-from the ongoing IT versus business debates to selling a utility company on the value of analytics. Their comments, edited for style and length...
  • Oncor shares its forward-looking steps
    Intelligent Utility May / June 2012
    OUTAGE MANAGEMENT AND OUTAGE COMMUNICATION ARE essential to a good utility-customer relationship. At the AGA/EEI Customer Service Conference in April, Oncor shared its story of how it shifted from a traditional utility mindset to a re-energized, customer-focused company, particularly where it concerned outage communications.As a regulated piece in the deregulated market puzzle that is Texas,...