Policy priorities for managing T&D evolution.
Timothy D. Heidel, John G. Kassakian, and Richard Schmalensee
A pair of myths is driving many investments today—i.e., America’s T&D system is falling apart, but the smart grid will save the day. A new MIT study reveals a more nuanced truth about reliability, efficiency, and plans for new technologies. The most effective policies and investments will focus on solving real problems and delivering tangible benefits.
Public-private collaboration to protect our infrastructure.
Smart grid technologies bring a host of cyber security considerations that need to be addressed throughout the transmission and distribution domain—and even into the customer’s home. In the second of two exclusive articles, Department of Energy authors team up with industry experts to provide a path forward for securing the smart grid.
Shaping system transformation.
New technologies—and new expectations—require taking a fresh look at the institutions and practices that have provided reliable electricity for the past century. Collective action is needed to define the key attributes of a future grid and then to take the more difficult next step—adapting our processes and institutions to align with that future vision. A thoughtful approach will allow America to capture the potential value that’s offered by sweeping changes in technologies and policies.
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?
The future looks bright for distributed PV.
The future looks bright for distributed photovoltaics. New technologies and government policies are driving a revolution in PV manufacturing. But a robust national distributed generation system requires a grid that can accept two-way control of electrons.
Metering potential and limitations for smart-grid design.
How far can smart metering take us toward creating a smart grid? While meters don’t support the highest-level smart-grid functions, they can provide significant capability when the metering system is properly designed to support the evolution to a smart grid. New technologies create opportunities to rethink traditional metering approaches and work toward powerful smart-grid capabilities.
ERCOT utilities approach CIP compliance from varying perspectives
As proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the new critical infrastructure protection (CIP) standards charge utilities with identifying their own critical assets and related cyber systems. This approach allows great flexibility for utilities to apply the CIP standards to their particular situations. This will help ensure that their efforts focus on securing critical assets, rather than on complying with an overly prescriptive set of mandates that might or might not yield a secure grid.
Developments in IT, outsourcing, customer information and customer relationship systems are challenging long-held notions on essential operations.
New developments in IT, outsourcing, customer information systems, and customer relationship management are challenging long held notions about utilities’ essential operations.
Utilities and BPL
William P. Zarakas and Kenneth J. Martinian
Utilities and BPL
Why broadband over power line (BPL) can't stand alone as a high-speed Internet offering.
You could almost feel former FCC Chairman Michael Powell's enthusiasm for broadband over power line (BPL) technology when he called it "the most important third way" to provide broadband to markets across the United States.
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.