Articles Tagged: utilities

Why Falling Oil May Not Hurt Renewable Power or Climate Change

The recent sharp drop in oil prices has sparked much debate on the cause, and also the profound effects for both consuming and producing countries.   Relatively little attention has been… Read more »

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How to Balance Safety and Cost when Deploying Intelligent Devices

In the previous post in this series, I gave an overview of how utilities can use the IEC 61508 standard as a framework to maintain high levels of safety while… Read more »

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Microgrids: Back in the Spotlight

Consider three trends: Recent extreme weather events that left thousands without electricity for days Willingness to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels by switching to local renewable energies Desperately slow… Read more »

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When developing a Smart Grid roadmap, take the golden road

In a previous post, I mentioned that utilities need a “roadmap to success” for meeting the challenges of a Smart Grid transformation. Making this change is daunting, but strategic planning… Read more »

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Substation Cyber Security: How Vulnerabilities Create Asset Management Challenges

When cyber threats were less of an issue than they are today, the relationship between a utility and a vendor was based on discussions about bugs that could be found… Read more »

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The Transformation From DNO to DSO

If you work for a distribution network operator (DNO), you probably spend a lot of time planning for the future. That’s partly because modern distribution networks are no longer designed… Read more »

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What will Medium Voltage switchgear look like in the future?

The electrical industry is without doubt one of the most conservative in terms of updating technology, including medium voltage (MV) and high voltage (HV) switchgear. Why is that? For one… Read more »

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SF6 in Medium Voltage and High Voltage switchgear unaffected by new EU F-gas regulation

On 9 June 2014 EU F‑Gas Regulation No. 517/2014 came into force. It strengthens measures to contain emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and – what I’d like to talk about –… Read more »

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3-step plan for improving utility network safety performance

Neither energy consumers nor utilities can afford electrical network downtime. Maintenance of safe and reliable systems is critical.  To help manage increasing consumer demand, utilities have replaced electromechanical technologies with… Read more »

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Debunking the Myth of the Electrical Utilities Death Spiral

With the drop in price of distributed energy systems (mainly solar PV), the cost of energy for some prosumers becomes lower than the one provided by the grid. They are… Read more »

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How Can Utilities Save Energy in the Smart Grid Era?

We’ve all heard the buzzwords: smart grid, energy efficiency…and more. But for utility electrical distributors, applying smart grid technologies turns those buzzwords into practical solutions for common issues. Utilities today… Read more »

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Trends in Utilities Part 2: Proactive Customer Engagement

In the past, utility customers were simply energy consumers, power flow was one way from generation to load, and demand was fairly predictable.  This situation has inverted, as consumers are… Read more »

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Protection network redundancy protocols

Historically, protection and control (P&C) schemes relied on hardwired communication: direct, point-to-point connections between Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs). The problem with that approach is it’s difficult to correct, modify, and… Read more »

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The Distribution Substation Goes Wireless

Not so very long ago, there was little demand for low-voltage monitoring and control. The gradual proliferation of distributed resources – particularly wind and solar energy – has changed all… Read more »

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There is no fatality: Utilities CAN adjust to new business models

The energy transition currently underway in Europe provides a unique opportunity for utilities to prosper from the development of new business models. In this post, we’ll consider the view of… Read more »

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Wait, what? The power company wants to control my thermostat?

The thought of being on the receiving end of a demand response effort is scary to many customers. Wiser helps make it more attractive. Implementing a demand response program involving… Read more »

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Dream Big: Decarbonization Key to Utilities’ Future

Utilities are undergoing a fundamental transformation as they wrestle with the challenges of climate change. The earth is warming and that can cause large, potentially hazardous changes in the climate… Read more »

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Arming your Smart Utility for the Future

In a recent post I covered the new and increasing challenges presented by Distributed Generation (DG), Energy Storage (ES), Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and microgrids, as well as the benefits… Read more »

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Trends in Utilities Part 3: You’ll need Customers for a Virtual Power Plant

What do Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Microgrids, the Internet of Things, New York’s REV docket, Demand Response, Big Data, and Transactive Energy have in common? All are required for the… Read more »

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“Predictive” Asset Management Tools: Well Worth the Investment for Utilities

The utility industry is in a state of flux as renewable energy farms share more and more of the grid with traditional energy generating plants. Distributed generation growth and the… Read more »

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How to apply standards when deploying intelligent devices

In the first post in this series, I gave an overview of how utilities can use the IEC 61508 standard as a framework to maintain high levels of safety while… Read more »

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“Predictive” Asset Management Tools: Well Worth the Investment for Utilities

The utility industry is in a state of flux as renewable energy farms share more and more of the grid with traditional energy generating plants. Distributed generation growth and the… Read more »

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Distributed Energy Resources and Microgrids – Challenges, Benefits and Solutions for Smart Utilities

In a previous post, I discussed the unprecedented growth of Distributed Generation (DG), Energy Storage (ES), Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and microgrids. In this post, I will cover the challenges… Read more »

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How to Balance Safety and Cost when Deploying Intelligent Devices

In the previous post in this series, I gave an overview of how utilities can use the IEC 61508 standard as a framework to maintain high levels of safety while… Read more »

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Are Smart Grids Profitable? Yes.

Conventional grids require expensive upkeep and increase the likelihood of electrical blackouts. However, smart grid implementation also comes with a significant cost. Is it worthwhile? Can smart grids pay for… Read more »

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Enabling the smart grid begins with big data and a reliable network model

In previous posts, I’ve highlighted the benefits of creating a distribution network model using an ADMS (Advanced Distribution Management System). I also discussed how ADMS loves big data. Now let’s… Read more »

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Network safety while deploying IEDs: Create a maintenance plan

Did you know that IEC 61508 can be used as a framework to maintain high levels of safety while deploying IEDs on electric networks? This series of blog posts covers… Read more »

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Decarbonization: Why utilities must focus on people

Utilities are deeply involved in the fight against climate change. Regulations at both a global and country level impel companies to combat it by significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Utilities’… Read more »

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Arming your Smart Utility for the Future

In a recent post I covered the new and increasing challenges presented by Distributed Generation (DG), Energy Storage (ES), Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and microgrids, as well as the benefits… Read more »

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Microgrids: Back in the Spotlight

Consider three trends: Recent extreme weather events that left thousands without electricity for days Willingness to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels by switching to local renewable energies Desperately slow… Read more »

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