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2017 Archive

  • September 2017
    FEATURE: The deployment of next generation asset performance tools is moving forward on a global scale. Some utilities have installed enterprise-wide asset management systems, while others are experimenting with staged projects, testing the technology. Others are taking a conservative approach, watching and studying for now. In the meantime, IoT, cloud-computing and big data technologies are being included in advanced asset managing platforms, bringing added capabilities. >> Read more

  • August 2017
    FEATURE: Aging infrastructure, new regulations and major weather events, combined with CAPEX constraints and reduced O&M budgets mandate risk-based decision making to optimize limited resources. While new technologies can help utilities overcome many of these challenges, they can be complicated to navigate. Attend our informative keynote panel session to discover how utilities are successfully leveraging technology, intelligent devices and big data to prioritize resources, mitigate risk and maximize reliability. >> Read more

  • July 2017
    FEATURE: Utilities use intelligent digital components to monitor their operational parameters and the parameters of the systems they make up. Now, this data can be sent for analysis to centralized digital asset management platforms through the Internet of Things (IoT) or standard communications channels, and be used by utilities to improve their internal processes. In this article, several utilities share their experiences with digital asset technology. >> Read more

  • June 2017
    FEATURE: Recently, there's been modest but alarming outbreak of gun attacks on substation transformers. These critical devices account for fewer than 3% of the transformers in U.S. substations, but they carry as much as 70% of the nation’s power, according to a 2014 report by CRS. ABB worked with electric utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy to come up with the Substation Physical Security and Resiliency Initiative, which lays out a five-step approach to shielding electric transmission and distribution systems against attacks, as well as natural threats. >> Read more

  • May 2017
    FEATURE: The traditionally hierarchical power system is moving to a much more distributed electric grid with smaller energy producers creating energy from eco-friendly resources such as solar, wind and water. However, these small distributed energy resources are much more difficult to control. Innovative applications and technology that supports higher levels of integration and interaction of the power control and automation systems are needed. >> Read More

  • April 2017
    FEATURE: Alaska power customers have typically faced high electric bills, the result of tenuously-connected remote communities and the high cost to serve them. Alaska's Chugach Electric Association's Anchorage-area project will be used to test scalability and improve power stability for roughly 300,000 people. The company will use a modular, container-housed microgrid solution to blend flywheel and battery storage. The flywheel will facilitate the integration of fluctuating wind power and the battery will be used for long-term storage. Integration of renewables is a key element. >> Read more

  • March 2017
    FEATURE: Most transmission grid operators look back fondly on the simplicity of dealing with only a small number of large generation sources. Pressed by changing environmental requirements, market shifts, and consumer demands, the range of power generation resource options continues to relentlessly increase in number and complexity. There’s no going back; the question is how best to move forward.  >> Read more

  • February 2017
    FEATURE: As a result of Sandy, Con Edison launched a massive effort to harden the critical and metropolitan East 13th Street substation, which provides power to almost 1 million people in Manhattan. Upgrading the relay protection and substation automation systems was an important component of this comprehensive storm-hardening program. >> Read more

  • January 2017
    FEATURE: Cutting carbon emissions while meeting the growing energy needs of an expanding global population requires innovative, pioneering solutions. One is microgrids, powered by renewable energy.  >> Read more
  • 2016 Archive

  • December 2016
    FEATURE: A new assessment of the Eastern U.S. grid shows it will theoretically be able to handle 30% renewables within 10 years, but only with serious upgrades to the bulk power system. The forecast takes into account only existing technologies, but that doesn’t mean the capability will be automatic.  >> Read more

  • November 2016
    FEATURE: Recent events and developing threats remind us that as essential as the grid is to national and economic security, it is and always has been vulnerable. The utility industry is responding to the changing threat profile with new technologies. Properly applied, these technologies can match the level of protection with the criticality of the asset. This allows power producers and utilities to move away from a one-size-fits all approach, because not all assets are created equal. >> Read more

  • October 2016
    FEATURE: It may seem ironic that the pioneer of projects that could lead to the sharpest increase in emissions-free electricity in the US started in Wyoming, the state that leads US production of coal, ranks in the top 10 for natural gas production, and pumps 2 percent of the nation's oil. It started when after a 320,000-acre cattle ranch was put up for sale, it was noted it was swept by some of the steadiest, most powerful land-based wind resources in the world. A better economic proposition would be to capture and transmit the ranch's wind energy to California, one of the world's richest markets for emissions-free electricity. >> Read more

  • September 2016
    FEATURE: The world has gone digital and that includes the electricity industry. It’s hard to remember the time when relays were simple electromechanical devices without firmware, communications interfaces or multi-functionality. The industry had to bridge the gap between aging analog devices and digital technologies. Today, there is not a single component in a substation that has not been enhanced, enriched or augmented by some form of embedded digital technology, making them operate better at higher ratings with more reliability than ever before. However, the challenge now is integrating all of these elements into a totally digital substation and making it work in a demanding environment. >> Read more

  • August 2016
    FEATURE: Aging infrastructure, new regulations and major weather events, combined with CAPEX constraints and reduced O&M budgets mandate risk-based decision making to optimize limited resources. While new technologies can help utilities overcome many of these challenges, they can be complicated to navigate. Attend our informative keynote panel session to discover how utilities are successfully leveraging technology, intelligent devices and big data to prioritize resources, mitigate risk and maximize reliability. This virtual conference will take on some of the most pressing issues currently facing the industry - a shifting regulatory environment, tight budgets, aging equipment and DER integration. Join us September 22 for keynote at 11 am ET, followed by 8 sessions in 2 tracks. >> Read more

  • July 2016
    FEATURE: The construction of small solar farms is running ahead of grid integration rules in many areas, and that can be a problem for utilities. In states where there is nothing like California’s trendsetting Rule 21 in place to oversee the process – and FERC rules do not apply – utilities are finding the best way to manage this solar flood is to “smarten” their transmission and distribution grids. By embracing the smart grid, utilities are not only mitigating the technical difficulties associated with integrating solar farms, they are also putting themselves in a position to benefit from the enhanced stability and reliability renewable generation can provide.  >> Read more

  • June 2016
    FEATURE: For many years local power generation – typically based on diesel generators – has been the standard way to deliver power to islands, remote communities or industrial sites. However, recent years have seen growing awareness and interest in factors such as grid resilience, environmental impact and fossil fuel price volatility, leading energy service providers and end-customers to take a closer look at microgrids. By combining a range of generation sources with energy storage and intelligent load management, microgrids provide reliable, economic and green power supply. >> Read more

  • May 2016
    FEATURE: Since 2003, the GridWise Alliance’s vital voice has represented the diverse stakeholders that design, build and operate the electric grid, and has been at the forefront of educating legislators and regulators on the critical need to modernize America’s electricity system. One of the Alliance’s most significant and informative activities is producing the GridWise Alliance’s Annual Grid Modernization Index (GMI) report. The GMI report is very important, because it not only defines the attributes of grid modernization; it rates the individual U.S. states on their success in achieving these attributes.  >> Read more

  • April 2016
    FEATURE: With the new challenges spurred by the evolving grid, you need answers to save the day. Come by our booth to talk to our experts and discover new technologies, industry best practices and comprehensive solutions to solve your most pressing issues – helping you become a superhero within your company. You might even find out the only difference between a comic book superpower and your superpower is that yours can be real! Visit ABB at IEEE in booth #5216 to address your most pressing issues and realize your superpower potential.
    >> Read more

  • March 2016
    FEATURE: For good reason, more utilities are implementing comprehensive network management systems to streamline the deployment, optimization, maintenance and control of their communication networks. At this point in power grid evolution, the older model of multiple disparate networks under various management systems is not only unsustainable, but potentially devastating to business goals and customer relations.
    >> Read more

  • February 2016
    FEATURE: There are many stages of bankability when building a solar power plant: design, equipment procurement, installation and commissioning, and maintenance. From the inverter to the transformer to the substation, equipment procurement influences all of these areas in powerful ways. It takes significant lead-time to find the right site, file the necessary permits, and start designing the project. Thinking about transformer requirements at the earliest stages of development is critical to ultimate success. Are you thinking ahead?
    >> Read more

  • January 2016
    FEATURE: Rapid recovery transformer advancements – as well as new assessment, monitoring, hardening and rapid repair capabilities – can help utilities boost grid reliability and minimize exposure to potential attacks and outages. The advantages and potential of these rapid recovery transformers, coupled with wider access to spare large power transformers and the ability of utilities to quickly assess, monitor, harden and replace this equipment, will better prepare our power grid for any emergency situation in the coming years. >>

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