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smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart cities, smart streetlights, smart grid trends, Silver Spring Networks, electric utilities

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

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.  More >>

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smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid projects, smart grid companies

A quick look at today’s smart grid projects and developments

It’s a big week for smart grid wins. Read about Elster’s smart meter contract with ERDF in France, a massive transmission network upgrade for Sertex Utility Services, Duke Energy’s major expansion of solar power and more projects.  More >>
  smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage, demos and pilot projects

Energy storage: Is the time finally right for grid-integrated water heaters?

It’s an old idea, the concept of using a fleet of water heaters for energy storage. But with the help of new technology, demonstration projects are proving that water heaters (and space heaters) can be an effective element in grid-scale energy storage strategies.  More >>
 
smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid initiatives, smart grid investments, smart grid tools, cost analysis, electric utilities

A new tool for finding cost savings in smart grid initiatives

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.  More >>
  smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric utility trends, grid divorce, electric utilities

We may not need utilities much longer says former COO (and how to prove him wrong)

Large central utilities are losing public and regulatory support and risk becoming a casualty of the shift to self-sufficiency that will take place in much of the world, say the authors of a recently published essay. There is, however, much that utilities can do to steer clear of that dire future. Click for details.  More >>
 
smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid job training, electric utilities

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

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.  More >>
  smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, transmission, HVDC transmission, global business, Brazil, ABB

Longest transmission link delivers renewable power

ABB has commissioned what it says is the longest transmission link in the world. The 2,400-kilometer HVDC connection stretches almost all the way across Brazil and will transmit electricity from two hydropower plants to the country’s primary economic center, São Paulo.   More >>
 
Smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, EPA, EPA Clean Power Plan, carbon pollution limits, policy and regulation, electric utilities

EPA’s Clean Power Plan = cheaper electric bills?

Opponents of EPA’s Clean Power Plan have argued that the restrictions on carbon pollution emissions will mean higher power bills for consumers. In an Environmental Defense Fund blog, a climate and air policy specialist counters that the opposite is true, and that there is plenty of evidence that electric rates could be lower with the new standards in place.  More >>
  smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, U.S. solar industry, utility-scale solar power, markets and pricing, electric utilities

All eyes are on rooftop solar… but what about BIG (utility-scale) solar?

It seems everyone is talking about rooftop solar, its dramatic growth, the subsidies, net metering and how it will change utilities and how they operate. But utility-scale solar still represents most of the solar growth in the U.S. Pete Danko of Breaking Energy reports on the current status of “big solar” and why more and more environmental groups and others are raising red flags about it.  More >>
 
smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, job training, plant operations, plant efficiency, distributed generation, Enel, electric utilities

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

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.  More >>
  smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, customer engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, customer strategies

What the iPod teaches us about utility customers (Hint: Your programs have a shelf life)

Of course it’s important to get utility customers involved in energy efficiency. Once accomplished, it’s even more important to keep them interested. Guest contributor Marie McKenna explains that while behavioral energy efficiency (BEE) has been a very effective tool, it shouldn’t be the only product on your program shelf. The parallels she draws with the discontinued iPod offer valuable lessons on why it takes much more to achieve lasting customer engagement.  More >>












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