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As a group, utilities have trillions of dollars of grid assets, from substations to wires to meters and much more. Scroll down to find information on how smart sensors and smart software extend the life and value of these field assets.

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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.

Strategic Asset Management: A Primer for Electric Utilities

utility asset management, utility strategic asset management, advanced analytics for utilities, UTILICASE strategic asset management, Strategic asset management eBook
Utilities are now getting much more data about their equipment via meters, sensors and other intelligent devices and seeing the benefits of software that can pull together all that information and make sense of it. As a result, strategic asset management is entering its next phase, which is the focus of our latest eBook developed with the experts at UTILICASE. Download the free eBook to learn how your utility can glean the benefits of advanced analytics to develop a more strategic asset care program.

How to improve resiliency: Adopt the Incident Command System

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, disaster preparation, incident control, Incident Command System, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
The federal government’s Incident Command System is an incident management approach for all hazards, including severe weather and terrorist attacks. While most utilities consider it important, only about 50% use it for each incident. Learning how to use the system now could prove well worth the effort in the future, even if there are challenges and it isn’t tailor-made for utilities.

Utilities: Forget about Big Data! (Start with small data, then work your way up)

smart grid, modern grid, Big Data, enterprise data analytics, smart grid strategy, webinars, asset management, electric utilities
If your utility is trying to figure out how to approach enterprise data analytics, you won’t want to miss our webinar on how to get started. So mark your calendar for Wednesday, April 2nd and register to reserve your spot to hear from experts in the field. The webinar is free to Smart Grid News readers while space remains.

The 5 issues forcing utilities to future-proof their mobile networks

smart grid, modern grid, mobile workforce, mobile workforce management, electric utilities
As utilities shift to a more de-centralized and distributed workforce, communications with field workers become more critical. Guest author Lee Johnson outlines the changes the shift has created and why it’s so important for utilities to future-proof their mobile networks to accommodate and keep pace with them.

Utilities: Why it's time to get tougher on energy theft (And on ourselves)

smart grid, smart grid technology, electricity theft, energy theft, energy theft prevention, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
Losses from energy theft run into the hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars annually. And it’s a worldwide problem utilities haven’t pursued because getting the evidence to prosecute thieves is so hard to come by. But guest author Alan Snook says there is now a way to do just that: Distribution Transformer Monitoring. Click to learn about the technology and how utilities can use it to pinpoint theft.

A better way to charge EVs? Scientists devise "packet-based" approach

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric transportation, EVS, EV charging, R&D, electric utilities
Utilities have good reason to worry about EVs, as in what could happen to a distribution transformer when several neighbors plug their vehicles in to charge every evening at the same time? University of Vermont researchers have a new proposal to duck that problem by reducing the impact of simultaneous charging. Check out the story to find out what they have in mind.

Cold weather forcing utilities to take desperate measures

smart grid, smart grid technology, power demand, grid protection, demand response, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
At a time when we’re getting acquainted with phrases like “polar vortex” and trying to live with severe cold weather, utilities across the country are working extremely hard to deal with the spike in electricity demand. Click to read some scenarios that describe what utilities are doing.

Finally -- an app store for utilities (from Silver Spring Networks)

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid strategy, apps for utilities, Silver Spring Networks, electric utilities
An app-store for utilities? A great idea but very challenging to develop. In a big departure from business as usual, Silver Spring Networks has launched its SilverLink Sensor Network… and it may have hurdled those challenges. Click for details on what the new offering is and what it does.

The #1 way to improve storm resilience (it's not about outage management)

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid best practices, outage management
Technology isn’t the only way to help ensure grid reliability and minimize power outages. As Doug Houseman of EnerNex points out, sometimes a simple approach is what it takes. He explains why vegetation management is so critical to maintaining reliability.

Restoration best practices from IEEE

smart grid, smart grid technology, outage management, IEEE, outage mitigation, asset management, electric utilities
The frequency of superstorms and the catastrophic damage and outages that follow have become far more common in recent years than in the past. IEEE has published a collection of articles that explain best practices in power restoration that utility professionals should scan, particularly if they’re located in storm-prone areas.

Time for another look? Signs that conservation voltage reduction will finally take off

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, conservation voltage reduction, asset management, electric utilities
Conservation voltage reduction has largely been in stall mode over the last 10 years or so. But that may soon be old news now that equipment costs have dropped and some utilities are discovering ways to cost-justify the expense. And a startup’s success in the field may get even more utilities interested.

Hybrid automation: How to marry new gear with legacy equipment

smart grid, smart grid technology, legacy equipment, smart grid evolution, smart grid strategy
The transformation to the smart grid is a gradual one, as older equipment is replaced over time with the new products and technologies designed to provide a more stable, secure energy future. John McDonald from GE outlines how this situation can be used to develop added value streams.

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.

How smart technologies lower the cost of living in a city

Smart Grid, smart cities, GRID20/20, distribution transformer monitors, Electric Utilities,
GRID20/20 President Alan Snook's company makes distribution transformer monitors - a perfect example of the low-cost, high-value sensors that are enabling cities to monitor and optimize their critical infrastructure. Read an excerpt from a recent interview with Snook for some interesting perspectives on smart cities and his company's role in that ecosystem.

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