Fortnightly Magazine - July 2016

Here Comes the Sun

Growing Impacts of Residential Solar on Utility Customer Service

What does PV mean for utilities’ residential customer service operations? From helping customers with supplier selection, through installation and maintenance issues? And with billing? To begin to address this question, we conducted two sets of surveys of residential electricity customers in the second quarter of 2016.

A Robotic Concrete Crawler

Play Station Controls Guide Robot on Concrete Inspection Trips

EPRI has designed a robot for inspecting hard-to-reach concrete surfaces. A robotic inspection system would eliminate the need to use scaffolding or rappelling for routine structural evaluations, eliminating the associated setup challenges, time requirements, costs, and safety hazards.

Marginal Utility

The Carbon Paradigm Shift

The telephone companies dumped land lines for cellular, and prospered, thanks to their size, ability to raise funds, and name recognition. They migrated to a new paradigm. Can’t electricity providers?

POPS Is Here to Stay

Reports of Plain Old Power Service’s death greatly exaggerated

The vast majority of electric consumers want reliable, clean, reasonably priced electricity, and little else.

Nikola Tesla and Bob Dylan

July Birthdays

Thomas Davenport built the first direct current motor in the U.S. One of Nikola Tesla's many achievements include the first alternating current induction motor and transformer. And on July 24, 1965, the controversial performance by Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival took place, with electric amps.

Weird Appliances

Getting ready for the big game? You need a keg fridge. What about a vision toaster so you can see how browned your bread is? And how about a stencil toaster so you can decorate your toast or even write a message on it?

Energy People: Tony Clark

We talked with FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, who has said he will not seek a second term.

Commissioner Clark is serving his first term at FERC and formerly served as a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission. He was interviewed by Pat McMurray, who has a long background in the energy business.

Energy People: John Hargrove

We talked with John Hargrove, CEO of the Association of Energy Services Professionals.

John Hargrove has led the Association of Energy Professionals since March 2015. Previously, Hargrove was director of renewable programs at NV Energy in Nevada for 11 years.

Energy People: Ken Gerling

We talked with Ken Gerling, vice president of transmission projects at Burns & McDonnell.

During his twenty-five-years at Burns & McDonnell, Ken Gerling has managed transmission projects with capital costs of nearly two billion dollars, and led teams with as many as three hundred and fifty members.