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.

Digital IQ determines company success

Energy company CEOs and CIOs demonstrating certain "digital behaviors" are more than twice as likely to have a top-performing organization in terms of revenue, growth, profitability and innovation, according to research from PwC. The research explored organizations' acumen at understanding, valuing, and weaving technology throughout the enterprise -- their Digital IQ.

Is your utility (BDA) mature?

The utility industry is still at an early stage of understanding the full potential for analytics, what an analytics strategy entails, and what big data and analytics can deliver.

Utilities investing unprecedented amounts in transmission infrastructure

The high level of investment in our nation's transmission infrastructure will enable electric utilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, facilitate wholesale market competition, and support a diverse and changing generation portfolio for the benefit of electricity customers.

SGIG program produces tangible, intangible benefits for Tri-State co-op

The Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program has produced benefits for utilities and their customers with more than $7.9 billion invested by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to modernize the electric grid, strengthen cybersecurity, improve interoperability, and collect an unprecedented level of data on improvements in grid operations and customer services since 2009.

Tiny grids are big business

Because of their simplicity, the technology requirements of nanogrids are less complex, in most cases, than those for either microgrids or the smart grid, according to Navigant Research. Nanogrids face less technical and regulatory barriers than their microgrid counterparts, and can be synergistic with the growing movement toward enhancing resiliency and, therefore, complement microgrids in some cases.

FERC BES revisions could boost reliability

In order to provide greater clarity, consistency and improved reliability by focusing on core facilities necessary for operating the interconnected transmission network, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved further revisions to the definition of the bulk electric system (BES).