While the electric power industry rapidly changes, utilities and building owners will need to accurately model the engineering and economic operations of the power system to make informed decisions, so they require sophisticated modeling-software tools.
It stands to reason that, in a desert state such as Arizona, solar power would be something of a no-brainer. But in Arizona, the issue of harnessing one of the most plentiful and valuable resources has caused a controversy.
In the energy field, who we receive our power from and what we receive may soon be our choice. In fact, some customers are already in the driver’s seat through something called community choice aggregation (CCA).
A prognosticator forecasting the end of electric utilities as we know them isn’t news. Economists and market researchers have been telling this fortune for several years. But when the people in charge of utilities corroborate those reports, it’s no longer a tale read in the tea leaves.
The age of renewables is all about change, not only in the way we generate electricity but also the way we live and function. The acceptance of alternative-energy sources has affected how we view the environment, drive our cars and run our households.
In February 2014, researchers at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report that outlines how rooftop photovoltaic (PV) arrays, combined with battery-based energy storage could lead electric-utility customers to opt out of the connected grid.
When it comes to public opinion, nuclear power has run the gamut from a promising new source of plentiful electricity to a nightmarish, sci-fi-like technology that should be shunned, lest the entire planet suffer a meltdown.
All the hype surrounding smart grid technology masks a painful reality: Change is often disruptive. While the evolution of digital technology in the energy sector hasn’t always been easy for consumers, it is equally challenging for utilities.
One of the cornerstones of the smart grid evolution is the smart meter itself. Capturing and sending data in real time between the utility and the consumer has enabled a level of communication between the two that is almost science fiction-like.
Energy efficiency has become one of the building blocks of the larger effort to transform the way society consumes electricity. Within the realm of efficiency, demand-response programs have become one of most effective tools for utilities to cut back on consumers’ energy consumption.
In December 2014, it was announced that GE Global Research, GE Energy Consulting, National Grid (a utility in the Northeast), the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.) were forming a partnership in a research project to develop an
One of the many advantages smart meters were intended to bring to electric utilities and their residential customers was the ability to implement time-of-use (TOU) rates to help reduce peak-time electricity demand.
Energy-efficiency programs have been a part of electric-utility operations for a decade or more, since state utility commissions began valuing the kilowatt-hours saved (aka negawatts) as an alternative to the new generation capacity they could potentially displace.