In many ways, rural electric cooperatives are smart grid trendsetters. Cooperatives are ahead of the curve when it comes to maintaining relationships with their customers. Cooperatives are also technology innovators and these small, rural utilities have helped lead the industry's adoption of AMI, interoperability and cybersecurity solutions. As the industry continues its evolution toward smart grid, utilities can learn and benefit from the rural electric experience.
By Megan Dean, Sr. Research Analyst, Zpryme
Many countries worldwide are completing their smart meter and AMI deployments and are looking for ways to optimize the data collected. Nations are also looking for ways to implement relatively inexpensive additions to their smart grid to receive a return on their investment. Still other nations are investigating ways to create a more reliable and consistent grid that enables customers to reduce their consumption, thus reducing the energy demand currently, and allowing current levels of production to meet the needs of a larger population with a higher standard of living. Feature
By Wanda K. Reder, chair, IEEE Smart Grid Taskforce
The U.S. economy is healthier today than it has been in recent years, and it is now time to position the country for prosperity. One of the most promising opportunities we have to further bolster the country's economic vitality is to push ahead with electric grid modernization investments that bring the smart grid to reality. Feature
By Tom Kerber, Parks Associates
Despite consumer interest in energy-saving solutions, selling products and services and engaging consumers in demand response programs continue to be challenges for service providers, utilities, and device manufacturers. Consumer energy-saving activities such as turning off unused lights and monitoring A/C usage peaked in 2010, and as the economy has slowly recovered, consumers' energy consciousness has diminished. Feature
IT/OT convergence delivers high degrees of grid automation, sensing and visibility; achieves greater control of distributed generation; and provides better support of regulatory compliance. Those are just a few points touched on by an expert panel of speakers during yesterday's Fierce Live! Webinar, "The IT/OT Integration Imperative," sponsored by ABB.
ComEd is already losing an estimated $168 million in smart grid funding as a result of the $100 million annual reduction in funding by the Illinois Commerce Commission beginning in 2014. Now, the utility faces a class action lawsuit and a $182 million penalty for delays and costs associated with its smart meter rollout.
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The Colorado legislature passed six different bills supporting electric vehicles in the 2013 session, boosting the state to an A- ranking in a report card comparison of six southwestern states' government policies designed to push EVs from showrooms to roads.
As the use of mobile devices for accessing the weather, stock prices, social media, etc. rises, so does the use of smartphones and tablets for monitoring electricity usage.
The net energy consumption in overall networks can be reduced up to 90 percent by 2020, taking into account dramatic increases in communications traffic over the next decade.
Until recently, hybrid power conversion systems have required multiple hardware units and power conversion steps, which add to product and installation costs, efficiency losses, and reliability issues.
As energy demand grows, the electrical supply industry is seeing rapid development as it evolves to meet new grid requirements. Significant overhaul of grids in both the U.S. and Canada have been reported, with more than 100,000 km of new line expected to be deployed to either replace aging infrastructure or provide added capacity. Total investments are estimated at $170 billion over the next eight years, according to research from NRG Expert.
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The New York State Department of Public Service this week presented state regulators with updated recommendations as a result of management audits of several state utilities.
In a petition filed by Xcel Energy with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Xcel wants the CPUC to confirm that the city of Boulder cannot unilaterally break boundaries to serve electric customers outside the city.