Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Solving the space problem with synchronization
    Aug 26, 2014 | Daniel Flores

    Engineers at electrical utilities spend a lot of time mulling over synchronization-the action of comparing the voltage, phase angle and frequency conditions between a power source (such as a generator) and the electric power network (or system)-before tying up the two different voltage sources. Why is that so vitally important?

  • We'll call you an expert if you can ace this quiz
    Aug 21, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    In a moment of levity in this all-too-serious industry, we pay homage to our favorite scene in the now 20-year-old "Speed" where Jeff Daniels says to Keanu Reeves, "Pop quiz, hotshot" and then runs through various scenarios for the gum-smacking Keanu to sort through. Well, here's our version. It's not as adrenaline pumping as "Speed," but, on the good side, nothing explodes if you're wrong-not even if you take this quiz at under 50 miles per hour.

  • Xcel Reveals Winds of Change
    Aug 19, 2014 | Frank Prager

    Frank Prager, vice president of policy and strategy at Xcel Energy, writes about how a decade of growth in wind energy holds valuable lessons for the future of solar.

  • A balanced approach to DG by former FL PSC Commissioner
    Aug 14, 2014 | Katrina McMurrian

    At the recent National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Committee Meetings, public utility commissioners from around the country gathered to discuss a number of energy issues and challenges. Among the issues discussed was the integration of renewable energy sources, particularly distributed generation (DG) technologies such as solar panels on homeowners' roofs, in a manner that respects the crucial role of the grid.

  • SDG&E Becomes First Utility to Test Drones
    Aug 12, 2014 | Sarah Battaglia

    It's a bird!  It's a plane!  It's a.drone! San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) became the first utility in the country to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test-drive drones.  The utility has been granted a Special Airworthiness Certificate that allows it to operate drones for research, testing, and training flights in Eastern San Diego County.

  • Award your utility's best and brightest a KITE
    Aug 07, 2014 | Mike Smith

    Every year the Knowledge Executive Summit gives out annual KITE awards for knowledge, innovation, technology and excellence. If someone in your organization fits those marks and has made a real difference in the areas of IT, operations or customer service, you should nominate them now for a KITE award. (Nominations close Sept. 5.)

  • Utilities Enter the 21st Century with Mobile Apps
    Aug 05, 2014 | Sarah Battaglia

    Picture this: you're in the kitchen assembling a tasty sandwich. You pull out the turkey, unscrew the mayo jar, and start to slice the tomato. Just as you begin to un-twist the bag of bread, your electricity goes out, leaving you utterly ravenous and perhaps a bit frightened. You should be making your way to check the fuse box, but all you can think is, "Damn you, power companies. I didn't toast my bread!"

  • Curran manages the challenges of transmission work
    Jul 31, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    Jennifer Curran manages a lot of stuff. She manages her division. She manages staff. She manages corporate strategic matters. She manages customer and regulatory outreach efforts. And, she determines strategic direction on important policy topics, trying to tease out the details: Who should pay? What are the benefits? How will we respond to FERC Order 1000?

  • Challenges and Opportunities: Smart cities and the smart grid
    Jul 29, 2014 | Steven E. Collier

    A veritable "perfect storm" of challenges and opportunities is profoundly changing the fundamentals of urban areas throughout the world. The driving force is the exploding growth of urban populations caused by both global population growth combined with dramatic relocation to urban centers. The United Nations predicts a near doubling of city dwellers by 2050 as the global population increases from 7 billion to 9 billion with the urban population to grow between 2.5 billion and 3 billion people in the next 30 years.

  • Is the prosumer knocking on your door?
    Jul 24, 2014 | Kathleen Wolf Davis

    I hate the term prosumer for one reason: I don't want to be one. I don't want to be forced into managing both the things I have to and all the tangential life things, too.  Rather than being a prosumer, I want to be an endsumer (just left out of everything but the end result, thanks).

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