10 Years of covering Technology for You

This issue marks the beginning of Utility Automation & Engineering T&D‘s 10th year of publication. At first glance, 10 years may not seem like a significant milestone in the world of magazine publishing. Most of the venerated power industry trade journals have been around much longer. For example, Electric Light & Power, the journal which spawned the magazine you’re currently reading, has been around for more than 80 years.

However, when one considers that Utility Automation & Engineering T&D is a magazine that has always had technological innovation as its main focus, 10 years takes on a more momentous ring. Technology pubs tend to be much shorter-lived than the general population of magazines.

Technology moves along at the speed of thought, which can make it a pretty difficult target to hit from an editorial perspective. The speed of technology’s progress, as chronicled in this magazine, however, is tempered somewhat by the speed with which it is adopted in the electric utility industry. This is an industry that has realized significant gains through the use of technology, but, at the same time, is often reluctant initially to adopt those technologies. It is this conservatism in the power industry that makes Utility Automation & Engineering T&D as relevant today as it was 10 years ago. Utility companies still have many questions and concerns about the technologies we cover, and we’re still here to help answer those questions and alleviate-or in some cases, validate-those concerns.

In this issue, Vol. 10, No. 1, we take a look back at this magazine’s first 10 years, and we also take a retrospective look at some of the main technologies this magazine has covered from day one. Automatic meter reading, SCADA/EMS, and geographic information systems are three of the technologies that have formed the foundation of our editorial coverage for a decade. We thought this would be an appropriate time to take a look back at how those system have evolved and a look forward to where those systems are likely headed in the years to come. We cap the issue off with an article focused on the “intelligent” power grid of the future-a vision which is coming much closer to reality due to the efforts of the Electric Power Research Institute and numerous collaborators.

This movement toward a self-healing, smart grid is undoubtedly one that we’ll be covering in Utility Automation & Engineering T&D‘s second decade (and perhaps its third), but what other technological advancements await the industry? Even in an industry as staid and conservative as the electric power industry, the future can be difficult to accurately predict. A look back through the archives of this publication-which are available at www.
utility-automation.com through the “Advanced Search” feature-reveals that we’ve had some hits and some misses over the years when trying to predict the future of utility industry technology.

We’ve always relied on our readers and other industry participants to help us gaze into electric power’s future and also to analyze its present. I hope you’ll continue to keep this magazine on your reading list as we continue to cover your industry, and I hope you’ll help us chronicle the progress of technology. If you have a story you think we should be covering, or one that you’d like to write about yourself, drop me a line at stevenb@pennwell.com.

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