Modernizing rural electric infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $236.3 million to help modernize and improve the reliability of rural electric systems in eight states. A modern, reliable electric system is critical to attract and retain residents and businesses to rural communities.

Global smart grid to grow at more than 18 percent

The global smart grid market was valued at $37.7 billion in 2012 and is forecast to reach $118.1 billion in 2019 -- growing at a compound annual growth rate of 18.2 percent from 2013 to 2019, according to Transparency Market Research (TMR).

Leading utilities top the list of account management best practices

Leading utilities have developed a nuanced view of their business customers and ways of serving them, according to a recent E Source Account Management Assessment. Three utilities out of 35 stood out for their account management best practices.

Vendors focusing on improvements in mobile workforce management

Vendors are systematically enriching their product features and functionalities with many providing broad capabilities and a future vision that meets and anticipates the needs of utilities, according to IDC.

EDF weighs in on Reforming the Energy Vision

In a filing, EDF's comments focus on both traditional objectives of resource adequacy and reliability of electrical service, as well as clean energy solutions, customer engagement, and openness to innovation.

Cloud driving business value

The cloud is having a significant and fast-growing impact on U.S. companies, according to a study of cloud technology, adoption and value -- commissioned by Windstream and conducted by Oxford Economics. 

FERC wants to approve Reliability Standard with modifications

The proposed standard enhances NERC's foundational physical security efforts and helps ensure that owners and operators of the bulk power system take the necessary steps to protect the grid from physical attacks.

NARUC passes resolutions on grid security, reliability

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the national association representing the State Public Service Commissioners, recently adopted a series of policy resolutions. Grid security, reliability, and natural gas vehicles were among the top energy issues examined.

Electric utilities driving EVs with tariff, rate structures

In the United States, electric vehicle (EV) sales have roughly doubled every year for the past three years, driven, in part, by electric utilities offering new tariff and rate structures tailored specifically for EV owners -- with 25 utilities across 14 states offering EV tariffs, including 8 of the largest 15 utilities, according to Northeast Group, LLC.

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.