Wind Energy Now 30 Percent of MidAmerican’s Power Generation

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MidAmerican Energy, the largest utility in Iowa, now generates almost 30 percent of its total from wind energy. The completion of three wind power projects in 2012 added 407 megawatts of wind power to the utility, fulfilling a previous approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to add 1,001 megawatts of wind-powered generation before 2013. The three projects were manufactured for … Read More

How Important is Substation Automation to the Smart Grid?

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As the energy grid is modernized at an increasing rate, substations and the automated equipment within them will play an increasingly important role. A recent report from Pike Research shows that more than 10,000 substations will be automated globally by the end of the year, which includes both new substations and updated older substations. By 2020, the number of substations … Read More

Utility Communications: An Ounce of Prevention, or a Pound of Cure?

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I hung up the phone, happy for my friend but sad about his company. It was not the first time I had this conversation, nor would it be the last. And they didn’t all go the same way. Sometimes I hung up the phone sad for my friend as well as his or her company. My friend is a communicator … Read More

Utility Customer Experiences: Stark Contrasts in Dealing with NStar and National Grid

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This article provides examples of some of the best and worst attributes of a customer service experience, using competing utility companies NStar and National Grid. One example of a customer service interaction that is notably good is the actual process of connecting to the customer service and the utility’s awareness that customers may be using various utilities and willingness to … Read More

Open, Automated Demand Response Goes Big in California

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As of December, California’s three biggest utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric, have agreed to upgrade their support to OpenADR 2.0, which is an open standard for turning buildings, motors, microgrids, and other forms of energy demand into grid assets. The three utilities previously used OpenADR 1.0, whose limitations had prevented much … Read More

GE’s Industrial Internet and the Smart Grid in the Cloud

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General Electric announced last year that it planned to add networking and distributed intelligence capabilities to more of the devices it manufactures in an attempt to start analyzing the data and drive efficiency gains in every industry it participates in. This includes the smart grid, as GE is a manufacturer of smart meters. The networking technology in most smart grids … Read More