EnergyBiz Magazine Sept/Oct 2014
In This Issue
  • Early Stages
    One wonders whether the smart city and its necessary enabler the smart utility are glimpses of what awaits us a few years down the road or whether, like the jet packs of the 1964 World’s Fair, they will remain fantasy. Of the investor-owned utilities in the United States, most, if they’re involved in a smart city initiative at all, are at the very early stages. Duke Energy, for instance, is...
  • Consumer Freedom
    It won’t be business as usual in New York, at least as far as utilities are concerned, should state regulators have their way. The New York Public Service Commission this spring announced a plan called Reforming the Energy Vision to completely overhaul the utility business model. The initiative seeks to give customers more choice and control over their energy usage for each dollar spent on...
  • Progress Report
    During the 2013 Legislative Session, Minnesota enacted a number of provisions encouraging solar energy, including establishing a solar energy standard, and a plan for community solar projects. Minnesota law requires Xcel Energy to prepare a plan for a “Community Solar Garden” (CSG) program. Xcel is Minnesota’s largest electric service provider with more than 1.2 million customers. Other public...
  • In Minnesota Utilities Take Back Seat
    Shared ownership of solar photovoltaic energy projects, commonly dubbed “community solar,” presents a new way to spread the costs and benefits of renewable energy development among the populous. Community solar provides the opportunity for many people to team up and invest in locally sourced renewable energy. It offers new opportunities to those who cannot afford the upfront costs or otherwise do...
  • Bold Moves by Arkansas Regulator
    It was impressive, and it was noticed. Six women took the stage for a wide-ranging exploration of energy, water, technology and environmental issues in front of state regulators gathered for their association’s annual summer meeting in Dallas. Colette Honorable, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, had...
  • Positioning for the Future
    Significant changes are underway across the electric power sector. Electric companies continue to transform how electricity is generated and delivered to consumers. Cleaner and more renewable energy resources are being added to the generation mix. And ongoing innovation and new technologies are fundamentally changing how customers use electricity in their daily lives. Together, these changes are...
  • Realistic Forecasts
    Welcome to the age of big data. Industries as far ranging as retail, manufacturing and financial services all hope to analyze vast volumes of granular information to derive new insights and improve operations. In the energy industry, a true demonstration of the power of big data is in developing more realistic forecasts of power generation by wind farms and fleets. A perfect example of this is...
  • Closing the Back Door
    The energy world is evolving from standalone, non-communicative energy generation centers into a mixed bag of distributed generation assets forming a bi-directional OT communication network. This is the vision of the smart grid. The smart grid is becoming a reality, posing major technical challenges for utilities as well as significant economic opportunities for prosumers - producing consumers....
  • Economic and Control Tools
    Transactive energy is a topic that seems to crop up more and more frequently these days. It is a frequent subject of discussion at conferences, and the GridWise Architecture Council and others have focused efforts on developing the debate and understanding of this important area. GWAC organized the first International Conference on Transactive Energy in 2013 and has a second conference...