The buzzword of the day is ‘analytics.’ But what does it mean?
As utilities seek to extract value from their technology assets, smart grid and metering data is becoming a gold mine for insights about how to improve service and save money. Fortnightly’s Alyssa Danigelis speaks with experts in the growing field of data analytics, to learn how big data might reshape the utility landscape.
The intelligent-grid vision is becoming clearer as utilities take incremental steps toward a brighter future.
Building the intelligent grid will require less technical innovation than it does strategic innovation—a characteristic not typically ascribed to U.S. regulated utilities. But the utility culture is changing—by necessity, if not by choice.
Smart metering is coming of age. Is the utility world ready for it?
Some states, including Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas, have been considering smart-metering questions as part of rate cases and resource-planning discussions. Other states, such as Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Virginia, have initiated EPACT Section 1252 inquiries separately from other proceedings. The tenor of the discussion also varies from state to state, with high-cost power states generally more attracted to AMI than low-cost states are.
Climate risks are entering the calculus for utility investment strategies.
Utilities are eager to invest in new power capacity—in part to build rate base and in part because they recognize the danger of relying too much on a single fuel source. Environmental issues, however, are adding greater complexity to company strategies for achieving fuel diversity.
Market risks and volatilities are driving asset values higher.
About 10 percent of the power-generating capacity in the United States has changed hands in the past three years. How buyers factor the variables and predict the future will distinguish winners from losers in the evolving power-generation industry.