Fortnightly Magazine - November 2013

Predictive Analytic Solutions: Beyond the Hype

Don’t confuse hype with your organization’s capability to implement innovative solutions and realize a positive rate of return on your investment.

SPONSORED WHITE PAPER: The ability to achieve higher grid performance and greater customer engagement while at the same time protecting the immense amount of data generated from today’s monitoring, control, and transactional energy operations requires new ways of doing business and revamped analytical solutions. Plenty of people will tell you what those solutions are. But don’t confuse the hype—and there is a lot of it—with your organization’s capability to implement innovative solutions and realize a positive rate of return on your investment (ROI). If you do, you will end up floundering or, at best, making piecemeal progress.

Productivity Plateau

A mature industry faces a worrying round of hype.

Are we languishing, or working off a 20th-century legacy? Gartner’s hype cycle suggests the latter, as new technologies start producing value.

What Solar Success Looks Like

Managing the transition to a solar-powered future.

Solar energy has a bright future as part of America’s electric power industry. An orderly and beneficial transition will depend on strategic action.

People (November 2013)

Southern Power names Chris Cummiskey chief commercial officer; Northeast Utilities appoints new executives at operating utilities; Kevin Bethel replaces Jonathan Halkyard as CFO at NV Energy; Georgia Power creates new position, v.p. of renewable development; plus personnel announcements at PG&E, Sempra, FirstEnergy, Edison International, IDACORP, and others.

All You Need to Know

Picturing utilities in a series of sobering snapshots.

Utilities are growing rate base despite static or declining demand: making customers pay more for a product they want less of.

Transactions (November 2013)

Carlyle Group acquires Red Oak plant from Energy Capital Partners; Tenaska acquires U.S. Power Generating Co.; Southern California Edison floats $1.6 billion in bonds in three tranches; Energy Trading Partners issues $1.5 billion in bonds; plus debt issues by ONEOK, Spectra Energy, TVA, MidAmerican, PECO, and Duke, totaling $9.2 billion.

Tweet, Like, and Follow

Utilities get serious about social media.

Social networks offer substantial communications value, and utilities can no longer ignore them. A successful strategy, however, requires careful management.

Anomaly or New Normal?

Regulators weigh interest rate climate and future Fed policy in setting allowed return on equity.

(November 2013) Consumer advocates argue for lower allowed utility returns, to reflect lower financing costs. Our rate case survey shows mixed regulatory responses.

Game Changers

State regulators address transformative forces.

In Fortnightly’s Regulators’ Roundtable, commissioners from Idaho, Illinois, and Minnesota consider transformative forces and the regulatory response.