Calendar of Events

Apr 14, 2014 to Apr 16, 2014 | Atlanta, GA
Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY

Keywords

Public Utilities Reports

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Frontlines & Op-Ed

Black Swans and Turkeys

The industry isn’t as robust as we might think.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Investor-owned utilities might seem fairly robust, but they’re not impervious to unpredictable black-swan events. Ensuring the industry’s survival might depend on our ability to reduce our dependence on fragile and unsustainable regulatory structures.

What Happened in Maryland

State case has national implications for grid modernization.

William A. Mogel

Strict adherence to cost-of-service ratemaking led to what might be considered a Luddite decision in the Maryland PSC’s initial rejection of BGE’s smart-grid filing. More than 60 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ratemaking calls for “pragmatic adjustments” to regulatory policy, toward the goal of sensible and effective rate orders. Delaying modernization doesn’t serve the aims of customer choice, conservation or electric system efficiency.

Dividend Debacle

Investors get caught in partisan crossfire.

Michael T. Burr

Investor-owned utilities get caught in the partisan crossfire, as candidates engage in a national food fight over tax policies.

Letters to the Editor

(October 2010) AWEA’s manager of transmission policy refutes author Robert Blohm’s assertion that renewable power exacerbates America’s growing problems with frequency response.

Avoiding a Train Wreck

Fundamental issues set companies and regulators on a collision course.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Industry leaders see a disaster coming, as the need for infrastructure investments collides with the economic interests of utility shareholders and customers. In a shaky economy and a politically charged campaign season, proposals for new capital expenditures are certain to cause trouble. Avoiding the train wreck will require real leadership in finding compromise solutions.

Green Blackouts?

Increasing renewable generation threatens reliability.

Robert Blohm

An increased reliance on renewable energy could threaten reliability of the nation’s electric transmission grids by reducing the rotational mass and rotational inertia of on-line turbine generators, thus, reducing the capability of generators to respond to drops in voltage frequency. In fact, data collected from 1994 to 2009 for the Eastern Interconnection already reveals a drop in the grid’s capability (as measured in megawatts) to stop a very rapid drop in frequency — such as a drop of a tenth of a cycle per second.

Summer of Discontent

Smart-grid planners feel the heat.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

State utility regulators begin to question the benefits of smart grid technology, and customers take to the streets in public protests and demonstrations to oppose installation of smart meters.

Nuclear YIMBY

Local communities welcome new reactor projects.

Ann Stouffer Bisconti

Visitors to Waynesboro in northeast Georgia might be surprised at local residents’ opinions about two new nuclear energy plants planned for that site; namely, they’re giving the reactors a warm welcome.

Getting Engaged

How to avoid a Texas-style backlash.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Is customer engagement more about damage control, or helping customers understand their options?

V2G Shuffle

Smart charging is just the start of the electric vehicle revolution.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Electric vehicles (EV) now rolling off automakers’ production lines are expensive and limited in range, but they mark a technological tipping point. By tapping into the smart grid, EVs promise to free transportation fuel from the physical medium—raising its practical value while simultaneously diminishing its cost.

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