News

Want to drive your bottom line? Increase brand trust

New research from Cogent Reports, a division of Market Strategies International has identified a link between brand trust and monetary value. Brand trust is critical for strengthening the overall relationships that utilities have with their customers and can generate significant value to a utility's franchise.

Are FERC and NERC focusing on the wrong aspects of cyber protection?

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 contained specific provisions requiring cybersecurity protection of electric grid communications networks. But, nine years later, communications between grid control centers and transformer substations are still not protected against cyberattack -- and the nonprofit research group Foundation for Resilient Societies (as well as many in the energy industry) is not happy.

Energy storage being driven by transportation, renewables

Energy storage, driven largely by electronics and plug-in vehicles, will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 percent to $50 billion in 2020, with dramatic shifts coming from the transportation industry, according to Lux Research.

Threats to energy IT no different than other industries

After interviewing 1,600 IT information security decision makers in organizations with more than 500 employees, spanning five industries in the U.S. and Europe, ForeScout Technologies, with the independent research conducted by IDG Connect, has found that more than 96 percent of organizations experienced a significant IT security incident in the past year. These results are not dissimilar to those in the energy industry.

NIST center to improve community resilience with emphasis on infrastructure

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a competition to create a Community Resilience Center of Excellence. The center will be dedicated to collaborative, interdisciplinary research aimed at developing tools and standardized methods that will enhance the ability to reduce the impact of disasters and to speed recovery in the aftermath.

Why critical infrastructure needs both asynchronous and synchronous components

The direction this quest took me was a long ride across many different business models and industries. I found the question I needed to answer was "what environmental factors act on each systems and what components need to be in a central DNA to support each of these environments and actors?"

Power plants go virtual in the emerging energy cloud

The emerging energy cloud allows consumers to actively participate in the generation and distribution of electricity in strategic ways to achieve business models that benefit consumers, producers, and distributors of energy. When organized to help manage supply and demand across the grid, the energy cloud shares many characteristics with cloud computing.   

Utilities testing DVCA cross the grid

As electricity loads become more variable, and intermittent sources become a larger portion of the energy supply, the power grid will need to become more flexible and efficient. Dynamic voltage and volt-ampere reactive (VAR) control architectures (DVCA) are increasingly essential to achieving cost-effective performance expectations, according to Navigant Research.

Maine's largest utilities partner on transmission projects

Maine's two largest utilities, Emera Maine and Central Maine Power (CMP), have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly develop electric transmission projects to enhance the strength and capacity of the state's bulk power grid and improve access for new generation resources. 

North American smart water management growing

Water regulatory bodies and water utilities across the globe need to proactively adopt smart technology to conserve water and better manage their processes and distribution channel. That is according to Transparency Market Research, who says that smart water management (SWM) facilitates reduction in repair and maintenance costs, reduction of non-revenue water. SMW also helps to minimize energy usage in pumping of water at water utilities, cost of detection of leaks and theft, and enhances customer engagement in water conservation.

Global leaders embracing smart cities

The smart city concept is driving new integrated approaches to city operations with city leaders globally embracing the smart city concept by heralding innovative projects and laying out a vision for how cities can use technology to meet sustainability goals, boost local economies, and improve services, according to Navigant Research.

Duke meets merger transmission project conditions

Duke Energy has completed and placed into service eight transmission line expansion projects it committed to undertake in North Carolina as a condition of federal approval of its July 2, 2012 merger with Progress Energy -- in an effort to mitigate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) merger-related market competition concerns in the state.

PPL seeking approval to replace 1.4M electric meters

"Technology has changed significantly since these meters were installed, and we're looking forward to the expanded capabilities that will create benefits for our customers."

SRP transmission line in service after 14 years

Salt River Project (SRP), has reached a major milestone, completing the last segment of a new 150-mile transmission line that runs from the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant area near Tonopah to the Browning Substation located in east Mesa, Arizona. The Palo Verde-Southeast Valley - Browning (PV-SEV) 500 kV project was finally placed in service after 14 long years.

LED street lights taking over, but smart network will take time

After years of pilot control projects, a growing number of large-scale systems have proven that networked systems can work and provide real benefits. These smart street lighting systems can provide substantial energy savings and a host of non-energy related benefits.

Most challenging FPL infrastructure projects recognized

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has been honored with the Southeastern Electric Exchange's (SEE) Excellence Award for two of its infrastructure and power delivery projects, based on innovation, improvements, and technical complexity. FPL admits that the two projects that were recognized were definitely challenging.

Consumers Energy expanding use of high-tech communication equipment

Consumers Energy is investing in improving electric reliability for customers with the latest tools and technology in the industry -- from new covers on equipment inside electric substations to keep animals away, to modern communication devices that quickly locate outages. The company reports that it has already seen fewer and shorter outages.

Standardization harmonization – tackling challenges in energy storage

Energy storage is the key technology for unleashing the full potential of microgrids, the smart grid, and renewable energy sources. The energy storage systems industry has a market poised for substantial growth and multi-billion dollar annual sales worldwide within a few years, but that assumption is based on removing some current barriers. The 2013 DOE/EPRI Energy Storage Handbook lays out the three biggest hurdles to broader adoption of energy storage technologies, including high cost, difficulty in deployment, and lack of standards.

Nanogrids give microgrids a run for their money

Navigant Research says that nanogrids are "big business," compared to microgrids. Even though microgrids exhibit exponential growth and share synergistic properties with nanogrids, substantial deployments of nanogrids are already deployed. Because of the simplicity, the technology requirements for nanogrids are less complex, in most cases, than those for either microgrids or the utility-dominated smart grid.

Microgrid Challenge seeks methods to increase grid resiliency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Microgrid 2014 MVP Challenge -- a competition to support resiliency and adaptation in communities across America. The challenge will recognize local organizations that have adopted successful grid strategies which can continue providing vital public services during power disruptions caused by severe weather and other events.