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Making the Smart Grid work will require an array of “enabling technologies” – from integrated communications systems to sensors and meters and storage devices. Many of these already exist; others are being adapted to synchronize with a modern power grid. Scroll down to see more about the building blocks of the Smart Grid.

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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.

SCADA Buying Guide Part 1: Start with a by-the-book scoping process

Supervisory control and data acquisition, SCADA, SCADA systems, buying a SCADA system, SCADA buying guide, electric utility SCADA
When you're in the market for a supervisory control and data acquisition - SCADA - system, the safest scoping process typically consists of three phases: project research and planning, request for proposal and vendor evaluation/selection. Click for a discussion of each.

IoT gets a boost from Cisco in Barcelona (and more smart grid developments)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors
This week’s collection of smart grid wins makes up for its brevity with a healthy dose of variety, from IoT and transmission to metering, a new partnership on cybersecurity and grants for community microgrids in California.

Sure the utility business model is changing, but not so fast

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, utility business case, distributed generation, electric utilities
The changing utility business model has been the source of considerable debate and handwringing. Yes, there are plenty of challenges confronting utilities now, but is wholesale change really coming soon? Jared Anderson of Breaking Energy recently interviewed an expert on the topic, and he had some very interesting things to say.

Lessons for utilities: How Japan massively screwed up renewables

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, renewable energy, renewables, Japan, Germany
Japan made a series of bad choices in its efforts to adopt renewables, despite having plentiful solar, wind and geothermal resources. A recent blog post from the Rocky Mountain Institute draws what may be some surprising conclusions about what went wrong in Japan coupled with a comparison to Germany’s approach. Click for details.

Quinone-based batteries could reduce need for metals, but project costs are high

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, flow batteries, Lux Research
Battery costs must drop if the stationary energy storage market is to grow as hoped over the next few years. New technologies look like promising ways to get around the need for metals like vanadium, but two Lux Research analysts report that project costs remain a concern.

The next big smart grid race? It starts at the end of the driveway (the distribution transformer)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distribution transformers, smart meters, grid optimization, electric utilities
The smart grid initiative has so far mostly been taken up with smart meters, and AMI has been regarded as the tool to enable the beginnings of a smart grid. But what’s next? Guest author Brett Sargent points to the distribution transformer and explains why it’s the next big thing.

Utilities: Borrow from this "civilized" approach to distributed generation

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, distributed generation, renewables, strategy, electric utilities
The heated debate and contention over distributed generation, rooftop solar for example, has resulted in stakeholders taking sides and pounding each other rather than working to solve the problem. The Critical Consumers Issues Forum has released a report that outlines principles for an alternative: collaborative ways to resolve energy challenges, a “civilized” way of doing it.

What utilities forget when they analyze storage (Hint: It has to do with benefits)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, utility business case, strategy, electric utilities
Reducing the cost of energy storage technologies is important. It’s good business. But guest author Rogers Weed points out that it is just as valuable to increase the benefits storage systems provide. As he points out, business cases are referred to as cost-benefit analyses for a reason.

Smart meters are a "time bomb" for utilities, warns insurance expert

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, smart meter insurance, smart grid trends, electric utilities
You would think just about every smart meter wrinkle has been discussed, dissected and considered by now. But the insurance industry has another one utilities may have to deal with: insurers are starting to worry about cyberattacks. And one insurer says coverage for cyberattack losses is generally not provided by the energy insurance market.

What Texas is doing to stay "the leader in smart energy"

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, smart meters, electric utilities
A revealing report from a Texas regional energy efficiency advocacy group outlines the state’s achievements, its shortcomings and how far it has to go to fully mine the value available from smart meters. And it offers very useful ideas utilities in every state can learn from.

Smart grid advice from SMUD (Home gateways? Really?)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, home area networks, home gateways, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, electric utilities
Several utilities have walked away from home gateways, turned off by the expense and what they saw as minimal advantages. But according to the head of smart grid project management for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, they do have benefits – for both utilities and their customers.

A boost for offshore wind energy? DOI offers commercial leases for development

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, offshore wind energy, offshore wind projects, renewable energy, Interior Department
In case you were wondering, offshore wind energy is far from dead in the U.S. The Department of Interior has opened up two large areas off the coasts of Maryland and Massachusetts for development. Qualified companies will be able to participate in competitive lease sales for construction of commercial wind projects.

Big wins for GRID20/20, Itron, Siemens and more smart grid companies

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors, smart grid projects
This week’s collection of smart grid wins includes quite a mix of projects and developments, including major accomplishments for GRID20/20, Itron, Siemens. Italy’s Enel, GeoDigital and others. Click for details.

Smart meter progress: What Britain is doing better than the U.S.

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, customer engagement, UK smart meters, smart meter rollouts, electric utilities
UK electricity providers are doing something many U.S. utilities wish they had done: educate their customers about the benefits of smart meters before the rollout starts… not afterward. Read the story for a quick look at how the UK is handling customer engagement, and why.

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