Power outages

At the depth of the 2013-14 winter in the U.S., some natural gas supplies were constricted reaching power plants and other large users as described in this piece here on The Energy Fix. The natural gas industry is making progress expanding its network of pipelines to better meet peak demands in the Northeast, upper Midwest…

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The lessons learned and the second-guessing prompted by the polar vortexes that walloped the Eastern U.S. twice in January taught us that the power grid in the Mid-Atlantic states needs — quickly — to recast the rules by which peak power generators can meet demand during the winter months. Peak demands, at least in the…

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Two settlements at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made public this year involving large civil penalties illustrate how the market for demand response (DR) services could be ‘gamed’ by artificially inflating normal levels of power consumption. In the most recent settlement, the FERC reached a consent order June 7 with the Enerwise Global Technologies…

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Of all the forward-thinking at this month’s 10th annual Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid in Washington, DC and similar conferences in the U.S., one new application is appears curiously off the main radar screen. I’m talking about software that utilities can use to automatically program large-scale demand reductions in real time by…

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That is perhaps the most interesting question raised by the latest “Consumer Pulse” research by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. In its third survey by the Collaborative of at least 1,000 consumers throughout the U.S. since 2011 reflecting the U.S. demographics, 54% of Americans who are heads of households and at least 18 years old…

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Ten years ago this fall, in the wake of Enron’s collapse and the California power shortage, with huge questions looming about energy “deregulation,” a handful of merchant energy companies and proactive utilities launched the Committee of Chief Risk Officers  to help energy and financial managers there get a better handle on and mitigate the myriad…

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The answer thus far would appear to be that low-income consumers are looking forward to smarter energy offerings based on fresh data from the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. A recent survey for Collaborative sheds light on the opportunity and the challenge of engaging consumers who have annual family incomes up to $20,000 (for a family…

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Courtesy of the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, here are facts about smart/digital meters and six commonly circulated myths — debunked. 1. Smart meters are less accurate than analog meters. Public service commissions require meter manufacturers to supply independently certified testing results to prove that their smart meters provide accurate measurements. 2. Smart meters are a…

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What is it that public officials and ratepayers don’t get about burying power lines? This is an enormously expensive undertaking that would significantly drive up the rates everyone pays for electricity. Is it worth it? I strongly doubt it. Even so, utilities should not hide behind cost estimates to obfuscate their performance in restoring power….

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For the more than 5 million customers who saw their power wiped out by the so-called “derecho” storm that swept across six states in the upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic U.S. June 29, there was little if anything energy and telecommunications companies did to minimize the damage, the 22-person death toll and political fallout. Like it…

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