DC

Otto Blathy, Bern Dibner, Rene Thury, Philip Torchio, Travis Kavulla

August Birthdays

On August 11, 1860, Otto Blathy was born in Tata, Hungary. He was the co-inventor of the transformer at age twenty-five.

Indeed, Otto literally came up with the name transformer. Not only did the term transformer stick in our industry...

Transformers ultimately became the name of Hasbro's robots in disguise, Bumblebee and his team of heroic autobots, on the hunt for the evil Decepticons loose on earth. Their motto, "Rev up and roll out."

The Gas-Power Vision: Five Obstacles

Regulatory and rate proceedings at FERC can be time consuming and expensive, but this hurdle can be overcome.

For the natural gas infrastructure and the available pipeline system capacity to be utilized as a foundation for the reduction in power transmission congestion, there are certain issues that need to be addressed.

Hydrogen Power

A New Initiative, a New Fuel Cell Car

General Motors unveiled its Autonomy fuel cell car, which it says is the first vehicle designed exclusively for the fuel cell.

Cape Wind: For Real?

For more than a decade the prospect of a wind farm in Nantucket Sound has sparked imaginations and spurred debate. At times it looked like a pipe dream, but the project is now fully permitted and construction is expected to begin in the next year. Jim Gordon, president of Energy Management Inc. -- the company developing the Cape Wind project -- spoke with Green Utility about the benefits of offshore wind power, and the challenges of developing the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

Vendor Neutral

(May 2012) Entergy Louisiana starts construction on gas-fired power project; Virginia Commonwealth University and Dominion partner on a test site for efficient energy technologies; Burlington Electric Department selects Siemens for meter data management platform; IKEA commissions four Blink electric vehicle charging stations; Edison Mission Energy, TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet Region Inc. form partnership, and others.

Hedge Timing

There’s no magic in dollar cost averaging.

Dollar-cost averaging has gained favor as a technique for hedging fuel-price risks. But hidden costs might outweigh the savings, leaving utilities exposed to volatile markets.

Vendor Neutral

(April 2012) MidAmerican Energy awarded a contract to Siemens Energy to supply wind turbines for its 407-MW project expansion. American Electric Power began operating the 580-MW Dresden natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant. Duke Energy and ChinaHuaneng Group signed a three-year agreement expanding their research cooperation to include coal and carbon capture and sequestration technologies. And others...

Vendor Neutral

(March 2012) DTE Energy awards contract to URS; Exelon and Constellation reach an agreement with Electricite de France; Dominion and Lockheed Martin enter a joint marketing and development alliance; plus deals involving Nissan North America, CenterPoint Energy Field Services, Honeywell, Silver Spring Networks, and others.

Technology Wins

Economics, not politicians, will determine what tools are best.

Today’s utility business model depends chiefly on big power plants and long transmission lines—and federal and state policies reinforce that model. But as photovoltaics technology advances and systems get ever cheaper, distributed generation eventually might become the more competitive option. At that point, upstart companies might be better positioned than utilities to capture a share of this growing market, because they won’t be constrained by Edison-era economics.