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Implementation of the Smart Grid requires sophisticated business and financial planning. This section highlights tools and case studies from the pioneers already leading the way.

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Snag your copy of our latest eBook: The Ultimate Guide to AMI

Smart Grid, AMI, Ultimate Guide to AMI, AMI eBook, Elster smart grid, Elster AMI, Modern Grid, Smart Grid Deployment, AMI, Smart Meters, Power Grid, Smart Electric Grid, Electric Utilities,
Developed with leading industry experts, SGN's new eBook offering is a full-scale, start-to-finish, everything-including-the-kitchen-sink compendium of AMI best practices, lessons learned and future directions. Don't miss it; click to download your free copy.

Utilities: More evidence that smart grids are morphing into smart cities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart cities, smart streetlights, smart grid trends, Silver Spring Networks, electric utilities
Silver Spring Networks showcased its successful multi-application, IPv6-based smart street light and smart city solutions recently. That’s not the entire story though. It also is a perfect reminder that utilities should be preparing for the added responsibilities they will have when cities that want to become smart cities ask them to pitch in.

A new tool for finding cost savings in smart grid initiatives

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid initiatives, smart grid investments, smart grid tools, cost analysis, electric utilities
The Smart Grid Research Consortium is out with a new offering designed to help utilities improve their smart grid initiatives to provide more benefits and cut costs. The Executive Strategy Assessment Service is intended for cooperatives and public utilities that are beginning their smart grid programs as well as those with programs well under way.

Unions see the handwriting -- they are retraining for a net zero energy world

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid job training, electric utilities
We recently reported on Italian utility Enel’s new program to train the skilled workforce needed for a modern, decentralized electric grid. Innovations in training are happening in the U.S. too. Thousands of union electrical workers will be trained every year in smart grid technologies like grid-scale storage, renewable energy and advanced energy efficiency at the new Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute. Click for details.

3 ideas you can borrow from Italian giant Enel (including crowdsourcing)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, job training, plant operations, plant efficiency, distributed generation, Enel, electric utilities
In utility circles Italy’s Enel is highly regarded as a pioneer, ahead of the pack in a number of areas. The company’s new ventures in training and retaining skilled employees, crowdsourcing to improve hydro plant efficiency, and participation in a new approach to distributed generation are the latest examples of its commitment to innovation.

How Duke is selling regulators on a $1.9 billion grid upgrade plan for Indiana

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business case, policy and regulation, smart grid strategy, Duke Energy, electric utilities
For a better shot at getting their rate increase plans approved, utilities should focus on what will get regulators’ attention. Click to read about Duke Energy’s proposal for an ambitious grid modernization plan that takes a nuts and bolts and dollars and cents approach and, for the most part, steers clear of potential problem areas.

Utilities: Partner with companies like Bloom or watch them take your top customers

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, fuel cells, smart grid strategy, Bloom Energy, electric utilities
Bloom Energy and other fuel cell makers are going after big power users and what they’re offering includes power as a service and reduced upfront costs. If utilities want to hold on to their larger customers, they should consider a partnership arrangement similar to that described in our story.

New program helps veterans prepare for energy industry careers

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid jobs, power engineering, military veterans, DOE
The energy industry has worked hard to come up with innovative ways to find qualified talent to step in as its aging workforce retires. The University of Maryland, with help from the Energy Department and other federal agencies, now offers an online course to help veterans get started on careers in engineering design.

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.

"Slow down on renewables!" pleads Austin Energy. "Don't turn us into Germany!"

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, renewables Austin Energy, German renewables, electric utilities
Austin Energy is holding out against pressure to add more renewable energy. And that begs the question: Why would a progressive utility committed to renewables take that stance? Because, the utility says, adding too much renewable energy too quickly could result in added costs to its customers.

Here comes the future: 6 new ways to design electricity rates

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed energy resources, renewable energy, distributed generation, electricity pricing, electric utilities
While demand for more distributed energy resources is growing, today’s pricing structures provide little incentive to deploy them where they will do the most good. Click to read one approach to incrementally transition to a more sophisticated pricing system that would better reflect real costs and benefits, and some specific options for pricing.

State governments pushing cities and utilities to get microgrids

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, microgrids, transmission, smart grid trends
Microgrids have emerged as yet another hot topic as more and more cities and campuses adopt them to ensure continuous power during outages. And that conversation is a pretty good indicator that utilities should be getting ready for microgrids before they hit prime time.

Boulder / Xcel slapfest gets uglier -- Xcel asks FERC for help

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Xcel Energy, Boulder Colorado, electric utilities
Boulder, Colorado’s attempts to divorce Xcel Energy and set up its own municipal electric utility just took another turn in what is already a convoluted story. Xcel asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this week to rule that the city can’t condemn the transmission line that surrounds it without the agency’s permission.

The 5 testing steps that allow utilities to roll out smart devices with confidence

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid devices, smart meters, connected home, home energy management, product testing, electric utilities
As utilities roll out new technologies, they sometimes find problems after the initial installations. That mistake can be costly and the negative publicity damaging. Guest contributor Angus Panton offers guidance to help utilities ensure that doesn’t happen: advance testing methods that can spot problems in meters and other devices before they’re delivered to customers.

Two smart meter pioneers who may be takeover targets (because of their patents)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, mergers and acquisitions, smart grid strategy, Itron, Silver Spring Networks
Mergers and acquisitions are nothing new in the smart grid sector, and equity analyst Louis Basenese expects the trend to continue. Why? Against the background of an aging electric grid, the big companies understand innovation is crucial and that cutting edge companies have it. Read on to learn why he believes two pioneering companies could be in their sights.

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