New Zealand turning cyber threats into opportunities

New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has committed $10.6 million to the six-year Security Technologies Returning Accountability, Transparency and User-centric Services (STRATUS) project -- a collaboration between Unitec, Waikato University, the University of Auckland and the Cloud Security Alliance that will create tools to return the control of cloud-based data to users.

Managing the tech risks of offshore HVDC transmission

HVDC allows power transmission through cables over longer distances and higher capacities compared to AC transmission, but the immature nature of offshore HVDC technologies can cause uncertainties and increased risk exposure for stakeholders and can make projects complicated and costly.

Boldest utilities moving to the cloud

Cloud computing is presenting challenges for regulated utilities in that the opportunity presented by the cloud must be looked at differently in the utility industry, according to IDC Energy Insights. In a new report, IDC explains that the ability for utilities to receive a guaranteed cost recovery on capital investments creates an apparent disincentive for utilities to invest in cloud software.

ComEd celebrates opening of CSMART smart grid center

The Center for Smart Grid Application, Research and Technology (CSMART) celebrated its official opening with representatives from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), ComEd, Silver Spring Networks and West Monroe Partners who all had a hand in the center's development.  Located at IIT's Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation, the center brings together academic, industry and utility experts to provide a fully-functional test environment for smart grid and smart city technology. 

UK smart grid project investigates consumers and distributed generation

Consumers in the U.K. with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology are often too focused on the financial benefits of selling the electricity they generate back to the grid when they could be using more of it themselves, according to a study by the University of Durham, as part of the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project. 

FERC Order 1000 means significant changes for electric utilities

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Order No. 1000, which requires public utility electric transmission providers to engage in regional transmission planning and cost allocation.  South Carolina Public Service Authority v. FERC, No. 12-1232 (August 15, 2014). The decision means that both public utilities and non-public utilities (chiefly rural electric cooperatives and governmental entities), which are not subject to the full jurisdiction of FERC, will have to work together to a greater extent to plan, build and pay for transmission facilities. 

Spectra Energy, NU announce Access Northeast to solve regional natural gas reliability issues

Spectra Energy Corp., Spectra Energy Partners, and Northeast Utilities have released details of the Access Northeast project, designed to help deliver increased, guaranteed daily supplies of natural gas to consumers, as well as enhanced service on peak days for strategic natural gas-fueled electric generation plants, to address New England's reliability concerns and reduce costs paid by the region's electric and gas consumers.

Solving industry issues: SGIP winners

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) today named the three winners in a call for papers charged with addressing an industry issue with a viable proposed solution.


Exploring the security eco-system for critical infrastructure

In the last few articles, we discussed the components required for building a security eco-system surrounding the critical infrastructure and also the need for each device on highly accountable networks to contain both asynchronous and synchronous components. In this article, we look at the scope of the entire security eco-system.

ComEd leading community-based microgrid

Collaborating with a group of science and technology partners, including Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Denver, ComEd is taking a lead role in positioning interconnected microgrids as viable energy systems that help address ongoing challenges of national energy security, sustainability, and resiliency, as well as positioning Chicago as a hub for energy sustainability and independence.

Smart meter growth, and benefits, booming

Smart meters have made possible new services for customers, such as automated budget assistance and bill management tools, energy use notifications, and "smart pricing" and demand response programs. More than 43 percent of U.S. households have smart meters today, up from about 33 percent in May 2012.

ComEd tapping smart grid innovators of the future

The finalists in ComEd's Student Innovation Contest, which challenges college students to create visions of products, services or software apps that leverage smart meter technology to help low-income customers better manage their electricity use and save money, have been announced. The Student Innovation Contest, which launched in May, is part of ComEd's SmartGridExchange initiative -- a collaboration between ComEd, technology companies, universities and customers to spur innovation that will shape what the electric grid of the future will offer.

SONGS replacement power to secure long-term regional reliability

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is seeking between 500 and 800 MW of new, local resources to help replace the power previously provided by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), as well as to address the retirement of older, coastal power plants that use once-through-cooling technology.

Eurasia ripe for smart grid investment

According to new research from Northeast Group, LLC, Eurasian countries will invest $18.3 billion in modernizing their electric grid over the next decade. The region has strong business case for smart grid investment, a number of experienced vendors and significant funding available from multilateral lending organizations. Northeast Group predicts that near-term growth will be focused in Central Asian countries currently battling high electricity losses while larger countries such as Russia will develop in the medium term.

California sets an EV world record

SDG&E has established a robust clean transportation program in response to its customers' growing adoption of EVs both at home and in commercial fleets. There are now more than 600 public charging stations available to serve the ever-growing number of EVs in the region.

Distributed generation causing EU utilities hundreds of billions in losses

To date, DG has been more disruptive in Western Europe than any other region, according to the report, where utilities are losing hundreds of billions of dollars in market capitalization as DG reaches higher levels of penetration in such leading countries as Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy. 

Implications in grid stability: Replacing coal with renewables

When one coal-fired power plant is replaced by renewable energy sources like solar and wind, what are the implications for grid stability and blackout restoration? What happens if you replace two? As utilities move toward integration of more renewable energy sources, they face difficult challenges in determining the right mix and placement of critical assets to maintain grid stability.

DOE announces $8M in microgrid funding

The investment supports advanced technologies, bringing together communities, technology developers and providers, and utilities to develop advanced microgrid controllers and system designs for microgrids less than 10 MW -- allowing communities across the country to become more resilient and adaptive.

Consumers speeding smart meter rollout

Consumers Energy is accelerating its plan to provide updated electric meters to homes and businesses across Michigan.  By the end of 2017 -- two years earlier than scheduled originally -- 1.8 million electric meters will be updated along with 600,000 natural gas meters for customers who also have Consumers Energy electric service.

Residential DR becoming more customer-friendly

With the development of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and smart, two-way communicating thermostats, the technological and market limitations to demand response are being overcome.