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Fortnightly Magazine - September 2004

Technology Corridor

Energy Storage Systems
G. Paul Grimsrud, Steven A. Lefton, and Philip M. Besuner

Technology Corridor

Energy Storage Systems

How to reduce the cycling costs of conventional generation.

Energy Storage Systems (ESS) can provide significant benefits associated with reduced damage to fossil-fuel power plants if the ESS is used in such as way that it reduces start-ups or load-following/cycling. Though those benefits may not be well known, understood, or documented, they are real and ascertainable.

Gas Supply: Too little, Too late?


Michael T. Burr


Pipeline and LNG terminal developments may arrive too late to prevent a natural gas disaster.

For exactly two months, MidAmerican Energy sponsored a $6.3 billion project to bring stranded natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to an adjoining pipeline in Canada. But when Alaska's Department of Revenue rejected MidAmerican's proposal for an exclusive partnership to develop the pipeline, the company pulled out.

A Gas Crisis, or Not?

The conclusions made by the NPC gas study raise more questions than they answer.
Ken Costello

The conclusions made by the NPC gas study raise more questions than they answer.

In late September of 2003, the National Petroleum Council (NPC) issued a comprehensive study on the future of the U.S. natural gas industry.1

Voltage Regulation: Tapping Distributed Energy Resources

Voltage Regulation
John D. Kueck, Brendan J. Kirby, Leon M. Tolbert, & D. Tom Rizy

Voltage Regulation

Reactive power is the key to an efficient and reliable grid.

Special ECM Section


Deregulation, competition, and the back-to-basics utility strategy have created tremendous pressures for utilities to cut operating costs while improving customer service. In this environment, companies are being challenged to build the utility of the future-a lean provider of power generation, transmission, and distribution run tightly and efficiently, creating a low-cost, high-performance business.

Business Process Outsourcing: Myth or Reality?

Dan Sullivan and Diane Shelgren


Business Process Outsourcing

The utility HR department is the new battleground.

Today information technology (IT) outsourcing contracts are being signed on an almost weekly basis and are rapidly extending into business process outsourcing (BPO) deals covering a whole range of areas-customer care, human resources (HR), finance and accounting, and procurement, to name a few.

Outsourcing, Reliability, and IT: When will the Three Meet?

Rajiv Bahl


Outsourcing, Reliability, and IT

When the grid collapses or a hurricane wipes out power to millions of customers, how does a customer information system (CIS) information technology (IT) manager ensure his or her outsourcing partner works as an extension of the IT organization by providing system reliability? When customer privacy of a competitor is questioned, how can the company be certain that the team members of the outsourcing partner have had sufficient background security checks, and that company data is safe?

The Customer as Strategic Asset

Stephen L. Prince


Achieving financial returns from increasing customer satisfaction.

Every utility focuses on effectively managing infrastructure and capital assets. However, one important balance sheet asset may be overlooked and under-leveraged-the customer.

Demand-Side Management and Metering Tech

Susan Covino


Demand-Side Management & Metering Tech

Combining real-time usage data with the newest technology can earn benefits for utilities.

Some amount of confusion on the part of end-users of electricity is inevitable as the electricity industry evolves. Confusion seems to be a necessary ingredient of change. At PJM Interconnection, we see fusion as the answer to confusion. First is the fusion of technology-both computing and communications technology-with the electric industry.

What is an Advanced Meter?

Sharon Allan


The technology behind demand-side response.

Across the country, policy-makers are working with both federal and state legislators and regulators to define policies and laws that will impact how utilities do business in the coming years. One policy receiving much attention right now may require electric utilities to offer voluntary demand-response programs to their customers. Demand-response programs allow customers to voluntarily adjust their daily energy usage in a manner that is acceptable with their needs.