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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.

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.

What to do today to prepare for Big Change tomorrow (from a telecom veteran)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Big Data, utility business model, utility transformation, smart grid strategy
With massive change coming in the utility business environment, it’s not hard to understand that figuring out how and where to begin to cope with it is a challenge. In the age of the data driven utility, guest author Thomas Zimmermann counsels utilities to take an incremental approach for the best outcome to what will be a major transformation.

Distributed Marginal Prices v.6

This whitepaper from Integral Analytics addresses Distributed Marginal Prices, the cost savings accruing across all of the avoided cost categories that exist in the varied and diverse silos of utility value (e.g., supply, ancillary services, bank deferral, line loss mitigation, KVAR support, voltage impacts, customer-specific avoided costs).

74% of U.S. utilities are flunking mobile (the East is best, the South is worst)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, social media, digital technologies, mobile apps, customer engagement, electric utilities
The migration to mobile is evident in almost every industry. But at a time when people buy clothes, check bank statements or make reservations by phone, the U.S. electric power industry seems to be far behind. There are stunning exceptions of course but many, many utilities seriously lag in their adoption of digital technologies. A new report from Booz Allen offers some suggestions for how they can catch up.

Boulder discovers challenges to becoming its own utility

Xcel Energy, Boulder, Colorado, municipal utilities, smart grid, modern grid, electric utilities
The city of Boulder is finding out that divorcing electric service provider Xcel could become a lot harder than anticipated. While no one expected the city’s effort to set up its own municipal electric utility would be carefree and painless, escalating costs alone could be a make or break obstacle.

Should you enroll your utility in this expanded cybersecurity program?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, cybersecurity, smart grid security, NERC, electric utilities
Electric utilities often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, and cybersecurity is a good example. If they share security problems they risk damaging their stock prices or attracting more attention from hackers. If they don’t share, other utilities could be at risk. But changes in an automated data sharing program could give them some much needed breathing room.

Will you soon be asked to share your utility communications network? (With a water department for instance)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Itron, electric utilities, water utilities, smart water, smart grid strategy
While some may initially balk at the idea of sharing utility communications networks with another operation, such as a water department, both can benefit tremendously from sharing a network and information. Click to read about a private electric utility and a city water department that plan to do just that. It’s said to be the first collaboration of its kind.

Why utilities need to worry about the 10 most vulnerable consumer devices

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, smart meter security, consumer devices, electric utilities
Those consumer gadgets that make life more convenient, such as sprinkler controllers or garage door openers, don’t sound dangerous. But they could be. Read the story to learn what a security professional has to say about how those and other IoT consumer devices could attract hackers who want to get at smart meter data.

Smart grid attack scenarios (understand the threat to defend against it)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, smart grid security cyberattacks, electric utilities
As the number of threats to the U.S. electric grid increases, the need to raise awareness about them becomes even more critical. Chances are you’ve read several news accounts describing attempted grid attacks from hostile countries. While there are defenses, understanding threats is the first step to preparing for them.

Should you be considering a dual-fuel energy efficiency approach?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, dual-fuel energy efficiency programs, electric utilities, ACEEE
ACEEE is talking up the benefits of electric and natural gas utility dual-fuel energy efficiency programs, but they’re not ignoring the challenges and concerns such an undertaking can present. Read the story for a status update and for access to profiles of 16 successful dual-fuel programs.

The 5 things utilities need to know about smart cities

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart cities, electric utilities
Power utilities have a major role in the development and success of a smart city, although the exact nature of the connection between the two can be complex. We thought you would be interested in a collection of articles that address where and how utilities fit into the smart city equation.

Want money for microgrids? Try tapping disaster relief. (New Jersey did it.)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, microgrids, outage restoration, grid resilience, grid optimization
Microgrids can be a practical solution to enhance grid resiliency against threats to the grid, whether they come from superstorms or cyberattacks. The downside? They’re expensive and they don’t have much of a track record. New Jersey, however, has come up with an answer to the cost question others may want to consider.

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