The Next Big Utility Transformation

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The 1990’s taught the U.S. the perils associated with utility deregulation. Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and consumers still feel burned by a theory of competition and reduced grid prices that fell flat. Today, realizing renewables could feasibly satisfy the power demand, utilities are uneasy carrying high costs and very little customer base. Their lack of profit creates a regulatory quandary. The … Read More

Broadband May Increase Use of Rural Smart Grid

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Many companies are putting thought into how to make their businesses compatible with the smart grid.  Emerson, the power and building equipment giant, recently announced a new partnership with Habersham EMC.  Together they plan on turning energy hungry devices such as air conditioners into real-time utility assets, but this will require delivering broadband to rural areas.   To accomplish this they … Read More

The Microgrid as a Service

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The United States relies upon monolithic power grids to supply power.  When there are mass power outages, entire regions are left without energy.  Autonomous “microgrids” would prevent mass power outages by being decentralized and independent.  Microgrids are also cleaner because they utilize renewable power sources as well.  The reality of a microgrid service may not be far off, as the … Read More

How Ontario is Putting an End to Coal-Burning Power Plants

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In 2003, one fourth of Ontario’s power supply, 7,500 megawatts of electricity, came from coal. Their consumption peaked at 18.6 million metric tons, and coal-fired power plants accounted for more than 41 million tons of carbon emissions. That same year, the decision to end coal was made final. Next year will see the completion this project, distinguishing Ontario as the … Read More

Kansas Moves Into Top 10 States in Wind Energy Capacity

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In 2012, Kansas more than doubled its wind energy generating capacity, moving it into the top 10 states in wind energy capacity. The American wind Energy Association reported that Kansas installed 1,441 megawatts, making it third among states that reported growth and bringing the total wind energy capacity to 2,713 megawatts. This $2.5 billion investment accounts for approximately 30 to … Read More

$20 Million for Smart Grid Part of CEI Reliability Plan

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Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp, has pledged to spend about $152 million in 2013 to improve the electrical system and reliability of Northeast Ohio. They have scheduled major projects such as rebuilding a major substation, installing new sub-transmission circuits in Cleveland, inspecting and replacing existing sub-transmission poles, relocating switching equipment, and ongoing vegetation management, as … Read More

Natural Gas Futures Decline on Forecasts for Milder Weather

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As forecasts for the eastern United States predicted that previously cool temperatures would yield to warmer temperatures, natural gas futures dropped predictably. When the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, predicted that the cold air would be followed by higher-than-normal temperatures after April 6th, natural gas fell as much as 1.2 percent. May delivery prices fell 3.6 cents, 0.9 … Read More

PG&E Named a Top Utility for Smart Grid Implementation

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GreenTech Media and GTM Research recently named Pacific Gas and Electirc Company (PG&E) as a top utility in recognition of the company’s smart grid implementation. This is the second year in a row that PG&E has been awarded a North American Networked Utility Award, which was presented on March 20th at a conference in California. PG&E’s senior director of technology … Read More

How’s That Employee Engagement Project Working?

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Employees are feeling beaten down. Can you blame them? Their commitment to their organizations is being sapped by frozen salaries, staff cuts, organizational inertia, endless reorganizations, and poor quality communications. High-skilled employees depart, opting to pursue more rewarding work elsewhere, leaving fewer people around to do the work. That’s not how you would characterize life at your utility, would you?

On-Site Electric Current Measurement to Improve Smart Grid Design

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A new technology developed by the Centre for Carbon Measurement, part of the National Measurement Institute’s National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom, is one of the most accurate portable methods of measuring power quality along the power grid. This real-time monitoring of the power quality is essential for the smart grid to be able to effectively minimize power compromises … Read More