3Rs for Power And Demand

Dynamic monitoring and decision systems maximize energy resources.

The operations and planning rules for integrating variable resources aren’t the same across the electric power industry in the United States at present. Opinions are somewhat divided about what these should be, as well as the assessments of potential benefits and costs. In order to support sustainable deployment of variable resources at value, it’s critical to identify major sources of potential problems and to proactively design and implement a systematic framework for managing their unique characteristics as reliably and efficiently as possible.


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.

A Voice for Smart-Grid Security

Who will oversee the industry’s cyber standards?

Who will oversee the industry’s cyber standards? Effective security calls for a single organization to set standards that will protect the smart grid. The industry is struggling to reach consensus over authority, scope and funding for its new security apparatus.

The Wind Watcher

The search for the ultimate wind forecasting model got a boost at the end of 2008 when DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory began collaborating with a Portuguese research institute, INESC Porto, to develop a new platform for making such predictions.

Redefining PV Capacity

Effective metrics give solar its due credit.

Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is an intermittent, non-dispatchable resource generally considered as energy-only with no capacity credit. However, there is ample evidence that solar energy reliably is available at peak demand time when loads are driven by day-time commercial air conditioning, and can contribute effectively to increasing the capacity available on a regional grid.

Defensive Invention

When the U.S. Patent Office published patent application number 11/626,810 in July 2008, few people noticed—at first. Soon, however, the metering-technology community was abuzz, mostly with outrage. If the Patent Office grants the patent and all its claims, other utilities would be legally forbidden from using any of the methods described, without first obtaining a license from the patent holders.

Cyber Attack! CIP Goes Live

Utilities are gearing up for cyber security compliance. Will the standards prove worthy?

The NERC CIP standards represent an historic achievement. They include the first mandatory cyber security requirements of their kind to be imposed on a U.S. private-sector industry. Considering the scope and sensitivity of the grid-security issue, developing a set of enforceable standards inevitably would entail a complex and contentious process. From that perspective, NERC, FERC and the industry have made remarkable progress, and their efforts deserve accolades.

The Hazards of ElectroMagnetic Terrorism

And why North American power plants should take note.

Electromagnetic terrorism has huge implications for the international power industry. The North American electric power network is vulnerable to electronic intrusions launched from anywhere in the world, according to studies by the White House, FBI, IEEE, North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), and National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). Is there a solution for this situation?

Betting on Broadband

Are consumer broadband over powerline (BPL) services enough to make the business case for utilities?

After years of development, technology to deliver high-speed data over the existing electric power delivery network has emerged in the marketplace. In some sections of Cincinnati and Manassas, Va., consumers now have an alternative to DSL and cable for broadband Internet access. It's real and it works.