One if by Wholesale, Two if by Retail

Which path leads to the smart grid?

A fierce debate has erupted in the utility policy community, with battle lines drawn within FERC itself. In the effort to improve system efficiency, two competing alternatives stand out: to build the smart grid on large-scale demand response (DR) programs, or to build it around consumer behavior in retail markets.

Congestion Relief

Transmission expansion is only part of the remedy for system constraints.

Building new transmission across the entire U.S. is an idea that continues to dominate discussions about the future of electric power. Many believe large amounts of power need to be moved across the country, or that transmission is needed to relieve congested areas, or to make sure enough renewable power is built. But transmission capacity is only part of the remedy to system constraints, and policy decisions and investment strategies must be based on sound evidence and economically rational planning.

Bringing Customers On Board, part II

The entire utility-consumer relationship must be reengineered.

The business case for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) can’t be justified alone on operational savings to the utility. But critical assumptions involving process improvements and system efficiencies depend on customer involvement. This sequel to a September 2009 article examines customer engagement strategies and techniques.

Beyond Intermittency

Forecasting brings wind energy under control.

Advancements in forecasting have improved the reliability of day-ahead and hour-ahead estimates of wind generation. Wind never will behave like a base-load power plant. But as system operators integrate wind forecasts into their planning and market processes, they’re transforming intermittent wind energy into a variable but reliable resource.

Reconsidering Resource Adequacy, Part 1

Has the one-day-in-10-years criterion outlived its usefulness?

The one-day-in-10-years criterion might have lost its usefulness in today’s energy markets. The criterion is highly conservative when used in calculating reserve margins for reliability. Can the industry continue justifying the high cost of overbuilding?

People (March 2010)

FirstEnergy announced that James G. Garanich is named v.p., tax, replacing the retired Gene Sitarz. Garanich was a tax partner with Ernst & Young. Ty R. Pine was hired as state governmental affairs manager for Ohio. Duke Energy Generation Services appointed Tony Dorazio as senior v.p. for wind development. He helped launch London-based BP Alternative Energy’s wind power business. And more...

Vendor Neutral


Siemens Energy has been awarded an 18-month, $300,000 R&D program by the Illinois Clean Coal Institute to study the effects of coal and coal-derived syngas combustion on the behavior of material and coating degradation in utility boiler and gas turbine environments. Focus areas of the research program will explore materials degradation modes in integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) systems and utility boilers.

Smart-Grid Roadblocks

Strategies for surviving the industry’s transition.

To realize the full potential of smart-grid benefits, utilities must undergo significant changes. They must learn to integrate information and operations differently, demonstrate adaptability and modify cultural tendencies.

Integrating New England Renewables

How to manage the green revolution.

Dramatic changes are coming to the electric industry, sparked by a surge of renewable energy and related transmission. Growth in demand-side resources, conservation and smart technologies will add integration dilemmas to an already complex power system.

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.