ABB introduced a new broadband wireless mesh router for European utilities. The new Tropos 6420 offers European utilities an alternative to service provider networks to deliver wireless communications for smart grid applications such as smart metering backhaul and distribution automation.
Accenture and Siemens completed the formation of a joint venture company called OMNETRIC Group. OMNETRIC Group will bring together Siemens' smart grid products and solutions; Accenture's management and technology consulting, systems integration and managed-services capabilities.
Siemens and Accenture formed Omnetric Group, a joint venture in the smart grid field to develop solutions and services that allow utilities to improve efficiency and achieve greater supply security. Its business operations will focus initially on Europe and the U.S., with further global expansion planned in the future. Omnetric Group will focus on solutions and services for system integration and management of the growing volume of data created as part of power grid operation.
Wall Street is back in business. What’s next for utility finance?
A candid commentary on current topics in electric restructuring.
A no-holds-barred interview with the electric industry’s chief architect of wholesale electric market design.
Balancing operational cost and consumer value creation.
Regulatory mandates and smart grid technologies are creating an opportunity for utilities to adopt a new approach to customer service—an approach that balances a range of strategic and operational imperatives, toward the promise of higher customer satisfaction, greater efficiency, and enhanced revenue.
Telecom-style revolution is beyond our reach.
In the information age, big growth doesn’t come from putting steel in the ground; it comes from innovating and creating value. But if electricity customers care only about reliability and price, how can utilities create real value that didn’t exist before?
Hype, hysteria, and strategic planning.
The industry is learning some painful lessons about public communication. Hype has given way to hysteria over smart grid rollouts, and forced many companies to re-think their strategies. Capturing the benefits of new technology requires a straightforward approach to selling the benefits — and facing the costs.
Beyond-the-meter technologies challenge the utility monopoly.
Smart metering and beyond-the-meter technologies are challenging the utility monopoly model. Now, regulated utilities must re-think their customer relationships as a revitalized retail sector provides growth opportunities.
Smart meters open the door to advance billing.
Investor-owned utility executives have long understood the benefits of prepaid metering, but technical and regulatory roadblocks have prevented wide-scale implementation. Now, however, two IOUs—Arizona Public Service and DTE—are planning prepaid metering programs that could be offered to all customers. Smart metering technology might pave the way for prepaid to become a standard service.