Passing of SB 1879 a 'bridge to a smarter energy future'

The Illinois Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee has passed "The Energy Plan for Illinois' Future" (SB 1879), a comprehensive bill that expands support for renewable energy in Illinois and ensures energy consumers and the state economy will continue to benefit from affordable renewable power, a more secure and resilient grid and future energy innovation, out of committee. 

Top CIO, CTO priorities for 2015

CIOs and CTOs are under increasing pressure to manage technology upgrades while addressing growing cybersecurity threats. The roles of CIO and CTO continue to see a broader scope of responsibilities, in large part, due to growing security and privacy concerns, according to a survey by global consultancy Protiviti.

Bill could position water heaters for demand response, energy storage

The United States Congress is considering a bill for "grid-enabled water heaters," which would allow an exemption from energy efficiency standards set to go into place next month. 

180-mile Badger Coulee Transmission Line receives regulatory approval

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has approved a transmission line between Dane County and La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Facebook joins Apple, Google in the smart home market

Facebook is looking to make a big move into the Internet of Things (IoT), with the announcement that it plans to power smart devices through their software.

The biggest surprise of EPRI's Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative

One of the biggest surprises of EPRI's seven-year Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative was the positive impact volt-var control had on participants' distribution systems -- from integrating renewable energy to impacts on energy and demand, to gains in efficiency and planning.

FPL launches new smart grid data center

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has announced the launch of a smart grid data center to help proactively keep the power running to thousands of customers.

Report: Customers are hopeful about the smart grid

A survey conducted by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative found that 86 percent of customers understand the benefits of smart grid technology.

Timing may be biggest hurdle for the Internet of Things

A new report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that the Internet of Things (IoT) may face major hurdles if not implemented correctly -- specifically relating to the marrying of computers and networks with timing systems.

$500M PECO investment pays off in 700 completed infrastructure projects

PECO invests approximately $500 million a year to upgrade its electric system infrastructure, resulting in 145 completed reliability projects in the last three month of 2014 and more than 545 projects completed during the first three quarters of 2014 -- totaling nearly 700 projects.

Industrial Internet Consortium launches first grid-focused testbed

The goal of the Communication and Control Testbed is to introduce the flexibility of real-time analytics and control into the legacy grid process -- which relies on a central-station architecture not designed to interconnect distributed and renewable power sources such as roof-top solar and wind turbines -- to increase efficiencies and ensure that power is generated more accurately and reliably to match demand. 

PNM says settlement proposal will resolve all issues in its transmission formula rate case

Under the terms of the agreement, PNM will use a return on equity of 10 percent in the calculation of formula-based rates, which will be updated annually in June. The calculation is based on a historical test year with adjustments for projected changes to certain rate base items, including utility plant.

Regulators not on board with prepaid metering, despite growing acceptance

The market for prepaid electric metering is steadily gaining ground due to smart metering technology, in which the accompanying advanced infrastructure can enable utilities to offer prepaid electricity and/or gas service as an option, as well as growing public acceptance around the idea of prepaying for services among those who prefer prepaying because it allows them to better manage their budgets and, in some cases, reduce their energy use.

Report: National grid held up despite brutal winters in 2014

According to a new report, the U.S. power grid held up during 2014, a year that included the Polar Vortex.

FTC opens office to secure the Internet of Things

As the Internet of Things becomes more of a reality, the United States government is making moves to protect the security of its residents. The Federal Trade Commission has announced they will be opening a new office to secure privacy.

Transmission line to run 387 miles between Norway and Germany

A plan to link the German and Norwegian power grids will become Europe's longest high-voltage direct current power grid connection. 

Protecting utilities from the risk of data breach

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), our electricity is generated by 6,997 operational power plants with a nameplate generation capacity of at least one megawatt.  The generated electricity is transmitted over 2.7 million miles of electrical wires into our homes, businesses, and government buildings.  Those 2.7 million miles are coordinated by interconnected computers belonging to the electric industry, reliability councils and various state and federal regulators.  Those regulators oversee 3,200 utilities in the United States, which are interconnected by even more computers spread across the 50 states. 

Report: IT/OT convergence an outage management game-changer

Some vendors have even developed future-proof systems for utilities who are hesitant to engage in a full reorganization that would be required upon adoption of an advanced distribution management system.

Utilities ''clamoring'' to get into home energy market

A growing list of blue-chip vendors, including Apple, ADT, Google (after it acquired Nest), Samsung, Verizon, and Wal-Mart, are entering the arena -- already crowded with solar, security, telecom and energy providers -- by partnering with incumbent hardware and software providers to develop home internet-of-things ecosystems to usher in a new phase of home energy management solutions.  

U.K. pledges millions toward Internet of Things, smart cities

The United Kingdom is looking to become a major player in some important technologies, including the Internet of Things and smart cities.