News

Cybersecurity quickly trumping physical security

Security is becoming an important part of the day-to-day operations of every utility across the United States, and a recent ruling by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is meant to make it easier for companies to keep their assets secure while keeping the lights on.

Maui smart grid study finds no hazards from smart meters

The electromagnetic radiation from radio frequency (RF) measured on smart meters at homes in the Maui Smart Grid project does not create a hazard, according to findings from a study by Cascadia PM, an engineering and project management service company. The findings are outlined in a report released by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), as part of HNEI's research into health effects from the meters.

FACTS addresses global grid issues

The majority of electricity transmission systems today are high-voltage alternating current that rely on many of the same technologies that existed more than 100 years ago. But new utility-scale generation resources -- like wind farms and large solar parks -- now compete with traditional coal, gas, and nuclear generation plants in global markets, creating new transmission grid problems and opportunities for flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS).

Attack, weather not the only threats to the grid

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is strengthening its infrastructure against one of the biggest threats to its operations: earthquakes. Serving an active earthquake region makes advanced preparation a top priority for PG&E to ensure safe and reliable operations.

Grid no safer one year after Metcalf Substation attack

One year after the attack on Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) Metcalf Substation, the Secure the Grid Coalition is questioning if the electric grid has been made appreciably more resilient against this and other sorts of assaults, whether by foreign or domestic terrorists or severe weather events. Overwhelmingly, the answer seems to be "no."

Regulators, utilities likely to hop on the CVR bandwagon

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)-integrated CVR is a high-precision voltage reduction strategy that can unleash unprecedented smart grid benefits, but vast majority of North American utilities have yet to take full advantage, letting the benefit lie latent in the smart meter functionality.

Hitting it out of the park: Cybersecurity is a whole new ballgame

An attack on PG&E's Metcalf transmission substation knocked the station out of commission. Although the attack wasn't well-publicized in the media, it became a call for utility companies to reassess their security.

Highley contests notion that U.S. grid is too old

Duane Highley, CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) and vice-chairman of the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), recently challenged the idea that the U.S. grid is antiquated, and implied that the United States takes reliable electricity for granted. This is according to testimony Highley offered at the first of several public meetings hosted by Department of Energy for the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).

Strategic investments modernizing Ameren's IL infrastructure

Ameren Illinois says it has exceeded its yearly reliability performance goals required by the state's Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) and that its modernization plan is on track.

DOE conducting smart grid cybersecurity research

The research includes technologies to help meet North American Electric Reliability Corporation – Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC-CIP) requirements for cybersecurity, including interoperability, scalability, through demonstration projects to validate the viability of practice and/or commercialization in the energy industry.

New control center helps NYISO avoid blackouts

The New York Independent System Operator's (NYISO) Utility Control Center has officially opened. The center is part of a $74 million investment, half of which was funded by U.S. Department of Energy's Smart Technology Initiative. The investment will save approximately $200 million per year in energy costs by improving the quality of the grid and installing new technology to improve energy efficiency.

New line will increase Potomac Edison capacity by 60 percent

To enhance service reliability for existing customers and accommodate future electrical load growth in Maryland and West Virginia, Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is rebuilding a major 500 kV transmission line that will replace equipment that is more than 40 years old.

Randi Zuckerberg: Social media lessons for utilities

In today's world, customers expect utilities to have a presence on social media presence. Further, they expect to be notified via these outlets any time they may be affected by a utility issue

Without communication infrastructure, there is no smart city

Thus far, the smart city communications layer has largely been taken for granted and become somewhat of an afterthought, with the main focus on the higher IT and data management layers. But the trend of the Internet of Things will require cities to move beyond just connecting people and businesses to objects and sensors toward more integrated smart city solutions and improving the interoperability, security, data privacy, and scalability of communication networks.

Allocating ICT budgets

The global energy sector has been facing major challenges such as the decline in crude oil demand, price fluctuations, and delays in major energy investments owing to global economic uncertainties. In the current economic climate, energy companies are planning to make reasonable investments in Information Communications and Technology (ICT) to become more competitive

A demand response success story

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has reported that during the Polar Vortex, which caused outages at several power plants in early January, demand response participants performed better than expected -- and in excess of their contracted commitments.

Utilities expanding social media presence

Electric utilities are expanding their use of social media and mobile applications as a way to capitalize on the benefits of smart grid and improve engagement with their customers.

Renewables making smart grid a top priority

The Chinese government has had the foresight to consider the needs of the country's grid development, supporting smart grid projects with favorable policies that embrace change and the implementation of new technology.

The power of prepay

Smart grid has raised the stakes when it comes to customer engagement by leveraging the power of information stored in smart meters to educate energy users whether through websites, mobile apps, social media or other digital strategies.

Utilities spending more on IT systems for smart grid

IT plays a critical role as the old infrastructure evolves from one-way network to two-way communications to enable the smart grid. In fact, cumulative utility spending on IT systems for the smart grid will total $139.3 billion from 2014 through 2022, according to Navigant Research.