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Data analytics buying guide part 1: What's in Big Data for you?

data analytics, advanced analytics, analytics buying guide, benefits of analytics, big data, Oncor analytics initiative, IBM analytics
Why is Big Data such a Big Deal for electric utilities? Because many are starting to use advanced analytics software to turn the volumes of data streaming in from smart grid technologies into actionable business intelligence. In part one of our new buying guide, you'll discover some of the benefits they're seeing - including just-released results from Oncor's ambitious analytics initiative with IBM.

Interoperability defined: new infographic explains how it all works

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid interoperability, smart grid technology, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
A new infographic from NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel provides an Interoperability 101 view of how the concept works throughout the electricity value chain, from generation through consumption. It also offers a visual representation of why interoperability has such a key role in ensuring the reliability of smart grids.

The biggest challenge to smart water initiatives? Cost

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart water
It may or may not come as a surprise but the biggest roadblock for utility smart water initiatives is how much they cost, says a new survey from Zpryme. Yet despite that obstacle 9 out of 10 water utilities have smart water plans in place.

Grid divorce: Apple's new headquarters will be self-sufficient for power

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy self-sufficiency, grid divorce, Apple, electric utilities
Smart Grid News has reported before on major companies working toward self-sufficiency and producing as much of their own power as they can. Now it appears Apple is following suit with ultra-modern new headquarters that will rely on the local electric grid only during emergencies… and other top companies have the same idea.

Forget Russia and China. The real threat to the power grid is from... the Sun???

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, solar storms, electric grid threats, electric utilities
Most of the threats to electric grids are well-known, from random shooting incidents to very well-orchestrated cyber attacks. Click the link to read about what could be a much more catastrophic threat from the sun… geomagnetic solar storms. “It may be a 100-year” event. So was Hurricane Sandy.

The hard questions to ask BEFORE choosing your smart grid communications system

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid communications, communications networks, electric utilities
Shopping wisely for the right communications system is a critical step in any smart grid or smart meter project. Contributing author Paul Alvarez offers recommendations on the important questions utility executives should be asking before they buy.

The future of utilities – death spiral or reinvention? Leaders weigh in

smart grid, modern grid, utility business model, utility business case, electric industry trends, strategy, electric utilities
The conversation around the “utility death spiral” is depressing of course. But readers should take a look at some articulate and very well-conceived views from industry observers about options for the industry’s future. As you will see, some see disaster while others see a possible renaissance, a reinvention.

The 3 kinds of cybersecurity every utility needs (and a reference architecture you need to know about)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid security, cybersecurity, electric utilities
Utilities are routinely criticized for not doing enough to address cybersecurity. With that in mind, guest author Brian Smith of EnerNex does an excellent job of laying out the challenges utilities face when forced to deal with constantly evolving threats. He also shares details of a pilot program intended to improve the agility of their cyber defense strategies.

David Crane: No, you fool, utilities are not “shockingly stupid”

smart grid, modern grid, policy and regulation, Smart Grid 101, utiity management, electric utilities
Utility CEOs as a group are generally considered conservative or slow to react by many people, and they may have a point. But some critics refer to them as stupid, while failing to consider the regulatory environment they have to work with. Click to read our take on why the critics with the “utilities are stupid” point of view are so very far off base.

Why smart grid and smart water are essential to a smart city

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart cities, smart water, strategy
Smart city initiatives are underway throughout the world, but many cities are unaware of the importance of energy and water infrastructure to their efforts. Guest authors Jim Anderson and Mark Leinmiller of Schneider Electric make an excellent case for why smart energy and smart water have a critical role and need to be part of the process.

Smart grid 101: Smart grid benefits for consumers

smart grid, modern grid, consumer engagement, smart grid strategy, communications, electric utilities
The benefits of smart grid are enormous, but they’re not always communicated well to consumers. Click for some useful explanations and facts that can help utilities do a better job of getting the message across to their customers.

We’re not doing enough about security: But what SHOULD we do?

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, physical security, cybersecurity, strategy, electric utilities, vendors
Regulators, standards organizations and many more have been chewing on utilities for not making enough headway on cybersecurity and physical security for the grid and their own operations. But what should we do to ensure a more secure smart grid future? That’s the big question our guest authors tackle in the second installment of our Next Next Thing article series. And they’ve got a lot to say.

Why utilities are terrible at GIS (and where to get help)

smart grid, smart grid technology, geospatial information systems, GIS, electric utilities
Geospatial information systems can be a great tool for utilities, but most are failing badly at meeting challenges like improving system design and data quality and reducing redundancy and other inefficiencies. Fortunately, an Electric Power Research Institute group dedicated to GIS has solutions to share.

Smart grid, the Internet of Things and security – an inside look

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, cyberattacks, electric utilities, smart grid strategy
We all know security is critical to the success of smart grid deployments and their operation. Guest author Kristopher Ardis of Maxim Integrated returns with an assessment of grid security, its weak spots and solutions in this installment of his series “Silicon, Security, the Internet of Things, and Smart Grid.”

Smart Grid 101: the Internet of Things and the smart grid (Part 1)

Smart grid, smart grid technology, Internet of Things, IoT, smart grid strategy
Smart grid is frequently thought of as the first and largest example of the Internet of Things. Kristopher Ardis, Executive Director of Maxim Integrated, launches a four-part series with his thoughtful piece on smart grid and the fantasies and realities of the Internet of Things.

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