The rise in customer-sited distributed generation (DG) and the success of energy efficiency (EE) programs in reducing load growth have brought rate design to the fore as utilities look for ways to ensure cost recovery and reduce risk. Now, a new trend toward a more sophisticated rate design has emerged: demand charges, intended to better align revenue collection with cost and encourage customers to reduce their peak consumption. But do they really make sense for residential customers? Exclusive
Smart Grid News caught up with Erich Gunther recently to discuss changes in utility business models -- specifically, the distribution system operator. The positive news is that there are utilities from coast to coast that are making revolutionary (and successful) changes to their business models. Gunther is co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer at EnerNex, where he guides clients on their strategic direction in basic research and development, technology and product development. Feature
How do you anticipate demand and adoption in a market -- like the Internet of Things or smart home -- that is constantly disrupted by new technology and shifting protocols? Traditional market research in the form of surveys and focus groups fall short when attempting to identify "the next big thing." Surveys provide answers only to the questions we ask, and only from the small set of users who respond. What if you could delve into feedback from an exponentially larger set of current and potential consumers to discover what they like, what they hate, and most importantly, what they want? Exclusive
In 2016, as the utility business faces significant disruption, there are far more profound structural considerations that influence the health of the regulatory climate. We need to take our game up a notch from the usual blocking and tackling over rate case minutiae and haggling over allowed return to build a regulatory climate that is marked by how it affords flexibility, innovation, and new and better ways to meet customers' expectations. Intervention
IHS Technology is sharing insights it garnered at last week's DistribuTECH in a new Research Note, which contends that the focus of the conference illustrated "maturity of the utility technology market." I have a slightly different perspective. What I personally heard from several vendors was far from what I would call "mature." It was actually downright scary and more than a bit naïve.
Water is a limited resource, but recent advances in science and technology, and, in particular big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), provide opportunities to prevent its waste. By gathering detailed measurements and leveraging analytics, it is possible to develop an end-to-end picture of our water supply to safeguard its quality and security.
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Allete's Minnesota Power is releasing a series of RFPs for large scale wind and solar energy projects after receiving backlash from customers and renewable energy advocates over its 15 year plan.
Alliant Energy will invest $1 billion to expand its wind power operations throughout the state of Iowa. The company announced its plans Wednesday to expand the Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County and begin building new wind facilities elsewhere in the state over the next five years. Alliant aims to increase Iowa's wind power capacity by 500 MW.
Nevada's NV Energy filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) Wednesday asking that private residential solar customers be given a 20-year grandfather period for the state's net metering compensation system.
Electricity and gas company National Grid has tapped Itron, an energy management solutions company, for help with upgrading its power utility infrastructure.
Duke Energy's newest 17-acre Osceola Solar Facility is now generating electricity for residents in Osceola County, Florida.
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Despite declining production at a key gas field in the Netherlands, natural gas prices in Europe remain at lowest level in six years. The Netherlands, the largest natural gas producer in the European Union, supplied 14 percent of the European Union's natural gas in 2014.
Solar power's growth curve in Germany is falling so fast the German government said it would suspend further reductions in the solar feed-in tariff.