EnergyBiz Magazine Spring 2016
In This Issue
  • Corporate America Sets Renewable Power Record
    LARGE CORPORATIONS PUSHING to meet sustainability goals are turning to long-term power purchase agreements with utility-scale renewable power developers in record numbers.According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, U.S. employers in 2015 signed power purchase agreements for a total of 2 GW of off-site renewable capacity."These numbers are moving very fast," said Herve Touati, managing director of...
  • Electricity Comes Free in Texas Time-of-Use Plans
    TIME-OF-USE PROGRAMS in which power providers charge customers different rates at different times to influence when they use electricity have been around since the start of the 2000s.Now, with the growth of smart grid technology and intermittent energy sources, as well as the desire of utilities and grid operators to reduce peak loads, these programs are spreading across the continent.Perhaps the...
  • Charges of Abuse Amid a Push for Reform
    GAMING PURPA?
    WHEN BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Energy's PacifiCorp put out a request for proposals in 2008 for renewable energy, one of the bids it received came from Cedar Creek Winds.As it turned out, Cedar Creek wanted to build a 150- MW wind farm in Idaho at a price PacifiCorp, based in Portland, Oregon, thought was just too high. The bid was rejected, although that wasn't the end of things."Next thing we know, the...
  • Utility Revenue Decoupling on the Rise
    A GROWING NUMBER of states are moving toward utility revenue decoupling, an approach that proponents say helps keep revenues stable while boosting energy efficiency, the adoption of solar and other distributed energy resource programs.Pennsylvania this winter became the latest state to move in this direction.The Keystone State's Public Utility Commission plans to hold a hearing soon on the tactic...
  • UTILITY BREAKAWAY EFFORTS PICK UP STEAM
    BOULDER, COLORADO'S HIGH-PROFILE push to form its own utility has been underway for years, but is now among a growing number of similar breakaway efforts to have cropped up around the country.Campaigns to form community-owned or nonprofit electric utilities were under way in at least five areas of the country in the past year. Along with Boulder, such efforts remain active in Hawaii and...
  • Space-Time Insight Hopes for Lift from Rift
    OCULUS VR'S RELEASE of its Rift virtual-reality headsets this spring was a big deal for gamers.It also could be a big deal for the electric-power industry and other industries with lots of infrastructure spread out over wide areas.Space-Time Insight, a San Mateo, California, developer of visualization and analytics software, has been testing applications for the Rift with several electric and gas...
  • Gartner’s CD Hobbs Talks Big Data and the Future for Utilities
    WITH THE ABILITY of preventative analytics to pinpoint energy use statistics, the electric power industry is awash in reams of data nowadays. But not all of it may prove as useful as hoped, and there are other hurdles that will have to be navigated as utilities put Big Data to work.EnergyBiz got on the phone with noted industry futurist CD Hobbs, a vice president and executive partner with...
  • Entergy Injects Analytics into Maintenance
    WHEN YOU HEAR ANALYTICS, you might think numbers, stats and data all floating and swirling around like a crazy math-geek sequel to Pixar's hit flick, "Inside Out." When Entergy's John Scott and Eddie Himel hear analytics, they think circuit breakers, load tap changers (LTCs) and maintenance all cleaned up and organized like a simplified, smarter sequel to the old Excel spreadsheets they once used...
  • Cybersecurity Law Gives Feds New Power to Protect the Grid
    WITHIN THE $1.1 TRILLION spending bill signed by President Obama last fall is a legal framework for sharing information about digital security threats that upset privacy advocates but which energy industry officials say will help keep the nation's electric grid safe from cyberattacks."While the electric power sector already engages in significant information-sharing, and has in place mandatory...
  • Regulators Weigh Utility Supply-chain Cybersecurity Rules
    THE UTILITY INDUSTRY isn't happy about the idea of mandatory standards, but federal regulators are weighing rules designed to deal with security vulnerabilities posed by technology installed throughout bulk power transmission networks.This winter, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a technical conference to begin to map out where new federal standards for utility supply-chain...