Renewable Energy

Four Important Lessons From the Borrego Springs Microgrid Pilot

June 16, 2014
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There is a design and configuration practice called “graceful degradation” in telecom circles.  It diverts all communications functionality to a limited group of subscribers that have the most critical needs.  Microgrids present interesting possibilities to similarly support graceful degradation of the distribution grid through deployment at locations that are deemed most important for grid or…

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What’s the Existential Threat to Utilities? Here’s a Hint – It’s Not the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

June 9, 2014
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On June 2, 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Clean Power Plan that proposes to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030. What are the impacts to utilities? Coal fired power plants, once responsible for 39% of electricity generation in the USA, will drop to 30% by 2030, according to the…

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Three Key Takeaways from the White House Energy Datapalooza

June 2, 2014
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Last week I attended the White House Energy Datapalooza event in Washington, DC. It was an informational and inspirational gathering of thought leaders, policy-makers, and innovators focused on data standards and demonstrations of applications that use a variety of energy data sources including Green Button data derived from smart meters. A clear and overarching theme…

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Will the 2014 Smart Grid Triple Crown Go To New York State?

May 26, 2014
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California Chrome is training in New York’s Belmont Park in his pursuit of horse racing’s Triple Crown.  If there was a Triple Crown for the Smart Grid, the state of New York could be the 2014 winner.  It certainly deserves attention as a role model for other states in development of a Smart Grid and a truly…

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The Two Technologies with the Greatest Impact on Utility Contact Centers

May 19, 2014
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Utility contact centers will face significant transformations as utility business models transform. Re-engineering processes to accommodate captive consumer to prosumer with choices is one profound set of changes. Shifting from a cost center to a strategic revenue center is another change of tectonic proportions. But what about technologies in contact centers – what will change…

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Smart Grid Transformations Are Opportunities for Utility Contact Centers

May 12, 2014
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The New York Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) report should be required reading for all electric utility executives.  As referenced in last week’s article, this document presents a well-structured framework to forge new utility business models and new electricity market models that leverage Smart Grid technologies, policies, and financial innovations.   It pivots the…

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The Coming Revolution in Utility Contact Centers

May 5, 2014
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Common industry consensus holds that Smart Grid technologies and policies will enable utilities to deploy new products and services in the pursuit of safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity. Aspects of utility operations will become easier – such as identifying outage locations using smart meters or preventing service disruptions with closer monitoring of equipment conditions. But…

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Wanted: Smart Grid Policies for 14 Million Homes

April 28, 2014
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The multifamily home market  is not the only segment that is missing out on Smart Grid benefits. There’s another market segment that is also woefully absent from participation in Smart Grid-enabled programs and solutions.  And just like the multifamily challenge, it is mostly caused by the absence of federal, state, and local policies.  There are…

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How I Went to an Energy Storage Conference and a Data Analytics Session Broke Out

April 21, 2014
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Rodney Dangerfield had a great line about how he went to the fights and a hockey game broke out. It was a concise and witty commentary on the frequency of bench-emptying fist fights between hockey teams. We’re going to witness a similar trend in energy storage conferences. Many will transform into data analytics events. Energy…

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The Smart Grid and Multifamily Dwelling Challenges

April 14, 2014
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There are many disconnects and dysfunctions in the multifamily real estate market that are beyond the ability of renters or property owners alone to resolve.  There are multiple challenges in a market segment that includes stakeholders with sometimes vastly different financial perspectives.  That is why we need a systems engineering approach to policy to address…

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