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SCADA - supervisory control and data acquisition - systems have long been a stalwart of electric utility operations, becoming increasingly complex as new technologies arrive and new issues emerge on the road to a modern electric grid. The resources below will help you stay current on SCADA trends in this changing utility environment.

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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.

Want real-time demand response? Look to commercial and industrial SCADA

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, demand response, commercial and indusrial commercial loads, SCADA
Guest contributor Adam Todorski of Demansys makes the case that the technology and opportunities are available today to connect the elements needed for commercial and industrial loads to take part in real-time demand response programs, and to successfully predict and manage them. He explains why inside.

Chattanooga's state-of-the-art control room

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Chattanooga smart grid, EPB, electric utilities
Chattanooga’s EPB is defying the notion that only a big investor-owned utility can afford a truly top notch smart grid. And its sophisticated new real-time control room is a particularly good example of how it can be done. Click to read the story and get the details.

Catch up on what’s new in smart grid projects and business

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid wins, smart grid projects, smart grid partnerships, acquisitions, SCADA, smart grid companies
From a smart grid research grant for New Mexico State University to projects for ABB and Siemens in Italy and Egypt, it’s been a busy week in the smart grid sector. Also, read about the Schneider Electric-Microsoft partnership and an integrated energy marketplace from Accenture and Southwest Power Pool.

Who’s getting the deals: this week’s smart grid wins

Smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid wins, demand response, SCADA, communications, EV charging, analytics
It’s far from a complete roundup, but we have a varied sampling of smart grid wins this week – and an acquisition. It includes a broad spectrum from SCADA to demand response, and EV charging to communications and analytics.

What keeps you up at night? 8 new solutions for grid worries

Smart Grid, smart grid products, smart grid security, smart meters, smart meter tampering, SCADA
Are you worried about smart meter tampering? Whether you can afford a new SCADA system? Consistent power quality? Click for a look at new solutions to these worries plus five others that may be nagging at you.

So much new SCADA goodness (but so few words on security)

Smart Grid, smart grid security, SCADA security, web-based SCADA technologies, cybersecurity, Andy Bochman smart grid security
Web-based technologies offer exciting new capabilities in the SCADA world. But security ace Andy Bochman has his concerns. Find out why he thinks there is too much potential for human error to feel that these great functional leaps forward are not at the same time large cybersecurity steps backward.

Survey says smart grid's next big growth market is... SCADA?

Smart Grid, SCADA, SCADA growth, DMS, OMS, EMS, Newton-Evans Research, outage control systems
A survey of electric utilities in the U.S. and Canada points to the likelihood of "very good growth" for EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS between 2013 and 2015, according to Newton-Evans Research. The firm says a large percentage of utilities it surveyed are planning upgrades or retrofits for SCADA systems.

An Introduction to Situational Intelligence

Situational intelligence (SI) is playing a major role in the rollout of smart grids around the world. This white paper from Space-Time Insights explains how SI gives users in business, operational and technical roles the ability to quickly visualize and correlate data from multiple sources to obtain a multi-dimensional view of their operations.

Some good news about smart grid security (straight from Idaho)

Smart grid, smart grid security, cyber security, Idaho National Laboratory
A DOE national lab demonstrated a new suite of cyber security software tools recently, one of which can locate and monitor conversation pathways in large computer networks. While it's not ready for deployment, the Sophia tool has received good reviews.

PowerStream's self-healing grid project

PowerStream is one of few North American utilities moving forward with centralized automatic switching decision-making on its distribution network. Using the Survalent SCADA software system and leveraging existing automated switches in the field on all 27.6kV feeders connected to two transformer stations, the Ontario, Canada utility is performing a two-stage trial of automated system restoration following a feeder fault that trips the feeder breaker. Get details in this case study.

When utilities should NOT use Oracle (and what they should use instead)

Electric Utilities, utility time-series data, meter data, meter data management, SCADA systems, data historians, process historians
A relational database is a powerful and essential tool for any utility. But it is usually NOT the best choice for time-series data, as many utilities have been discovering the hard way.

SCADA Buying Guide part 2: Take a lifetime view when budgeting

Supervisory control and data acquisition, SCADA, SCADA systems, buying a SCADA system, SCADA buying guide, electric utility SCADA
To properly budget for a SCADA solution, it is important to look at the default functionality the SCADA will provide at purchase versus custom functionality that will have to be built in at deployment. This will define the services and maintainability costs over the lifetime of the SCADA system.

SCADA Buying Guide part 3: The 12 questions you must ask to nail the requirements

Supervisory control and data acquisition, SCADA, SCADA systems, buying a SCADA system, SCADA buying guide, electric utility SCADA
When you consider the requirements for your SCADA system, the list of issues to determine is a lengthy one. Hardware, communications and infrastructure, security, standards, data management - they're all critical issues that you'll need to plan for.

SCADA Buying Guide part 4: Installation, support and contract issues you can't afford to overlook

Supervisory control and data acquisition, SCADA, SCADA systems, buying a SCADA system, SCADA buying guide, electric utility SCADA
It is one thing to settle on a SCADA system that you think will do the job for your utility. But with that decision made, you're only part way there. You still need to deal with some important details regarding installation, support and the contract itself.

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