Intelligent Utility Magazine Winter 2015
In This Issue
  • Entergy weathers the storm
    Entergy weathers the storm
     AUGUST 29TH WAS THE ANNIVERSARY of Hurricane Katrina hitting Southeast Louisiana.For two or three days this year, there were live shots on every news channel from Fox to CBS. There were correspondents on the ground looking at new construction and remaining problems. But few, if any, told the story of this historic storm from local utility Entergy's unique angle.Katrina and Rita, another...
  • On strategies and spectrum
    Facing the needs of critical infrastructure communications
     WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS networks provide a practical solution for providing the coverage and capacity that utilities need to support increased automation of their infrastructure systems.However, utilities need access to suitable spectrum in order to provide the capacity and coverage for these wireless communications systems.The need for spectrum access is urgent. Utilities and other...
  • Running electric transmission as a drilling backbone
    Xcel Energy powers up an oil boom
    XCEL ENERGY HAS LOOKED in many directions for just the right combination of tools to meet new electric service needs in a marketplace where innovation is providing power consumers with new choices. But when a high growth situation arose in our New Mexico service area, we learned that nothing is more effective than determination, ingenuity and clear, consistent communication when it comes to...
  • A women-in-energy profile of Lora Teed
    MATHEMATICS, COMPLEXITY AND BRIDGE BEAMS: talking structural engineering
    LORA TEED FIRST CAUGHT OUR EYE on Twitter. She was one of many great entries in Austin Energy's push to join in the viral #ilooklikeanengineer campaign.And we admit we were curious about a utility having a structural engineer on the team. We're used to electrical engineers. We've talked to a lot of them, but none of us could recall chatting with a structural engineer.So, we chatted with Lora.Lora...
  • Doing more with what you have
    WHAT IF YOU CAN’T BUILD THAT NEW TRANSMISSION LINE?
    AS THE U.S. CONTINUES to use more power in more places, utilities are trying to keep up with increased demand and an aging transmission system, parts of which date back to the 1880s.Furthermore, the United States alone has approximately 360,000 miles of transmission lines, 70 percent of which are estimated by the U.S.Department of Energy (DOE) to be more than 25 years old. With the increased...
  • CIS moves from divine design to reality road test
    Avista’s Project Compass goes live
    THE LAST TIME WE HEARD from Avista Utilities' Vicki Weber, director of energy delivery technology, and Pat Dever, director of applications and systems programming, about their work replacing a legacy customer information system (CIS) named Project Compass, they were busy working out the kinks, thinking about the existential issues--which Weber called "unwinding the yarn ball"--and looking for a...
  • A chat with White & Reed
    National Grid: the utility alpha when it comes to customer listening
    THERE'S JUST A WEALTH of stuff to talk about when you phone up National Grid U.S., one of the major utility players in the country.They've recently put together a new division. They're participating in New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) project. They're working on grid modernization in Massachusetts, which they delightfully refer to as "GridMod," which makes me picture them all wearing...
  • China in renewables, Japan in smart meters
    Asian markets see rapid tech growth
    A RAPIDLY INCREASING share of renewable energy in the power generation mix across Asia is necessitating investment in T&D upgrades, smart meters and microgrids.In China, renewables accounted for 13 percent of the total electricity generation in 2014. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, China has installed 115 GW of wind and is forecast to hit 200 GW by 2020. China's solar PV output...
  • The Eiffel evolves
    Wind turbines on the world’s most iconic tower?
    DESPITE BEING DISTINCTLY AMERICAN, I have one French love. I've been to the Eiffel Tower three times in my life, and I plan to go again this coming autumn. I've shopped on the first floor, taken those elevators up and the stairs back down and even eaten at the Jules Verne (that's the restaurant on the second floor). That industrial latticework masterpiece--originally built by Gustave Eiffel for...
  • Smart grid trends in Latin America
    Sun, wind & electricity theft
    IN THE WORLD ECONOMY, Latin America stands out: a region of great resources and cultural roots that are shared by many. Of all the developing places in the world, it could move the fastest toward a 21st century electrical grid. But as with North American energy infrastructure, the Latin American grid has to adjust to accommodate solar and wind power as they reach scale. And other issues remain...