Home Tags POWERGRID_INTERNATIONAL Volume 5 Issue 7
POWERGRID_INTERNATIONAL Volume 5 Issue 7
Improving and differentiating customer service and reducing operational costs are important strategies for utilities wishing to stay competitive. Outage management systems (OMS) have improved customer services by helping utilities reduce outage duration and by facilitating communication internally within utility operations departments and externally with customers and the public.
Satellite technology has come a long way since the launch of ORBCOMM's low-Earth orbit satellite constellation, making it a viable communications option for utilities.
The electric meter serves as the primary touchpoint between the electric utility and the electric utility customer. Whether that customer is commercial, industrial or residential, the usage monitored by electric meters has tremendous value to the utility.
Utilities are becoming increasingly reliant on communications as the industry becomes more competitive. But lightning strikes and high voltage surges can wreak havoc with wire-line circuits, particularly in electric power plants and substations. One bad storm, a lightning strike or a fault on the line, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment are gone.
Wider dissemination of utility SCADA data is becoming a necessity. Simple Web browser-based technology is making it possible to open SCADA systems like never before.
Managing the delivery of electric power to more than a half million customers is no easy task-particularly when the utility delivering that power keeps its facility records spread out over thousands of aging paper maps.
The New Jersey American Water Co., which provides water and wastewater services in 15 New Jersey counties, has selected energy service provider NewEnergy as its electricity supplier under the New Jersey Choice Program. Approximately 100 accounts in New Jersey representing 20 MW are covered under the contract.
American Electric Power, Carolina Power & Light, Duke Energy and Unicom Corp. plan to launch an independent, Internet-based electric transmission business-to-business exchange that offers a single portal for arranging transmission capacity. The companies say the new exchange will provide an easier, faster way to reserve, schedule and move wholesale energy.
Back during my college days, I had a business law professor who often said that California was the testing ground for many new laws. Since April 1, 1998, California has indeed been the testing ground for electricity deregulation and customer choice. Even though several states have introduced competition and several others are following suit, the focus remains on California.
Driven in large part by the Internet and deregulation, changes taking place in the utilities market indicate a new way of thinking and performing business processes. Alongside these changes, pressure remains to reduce operating costs while increasing shareholder value by leveraging new-market assets. To cope with such demands, utility companies have broken themselves down vertically, creating generation, transmission, distribution and energy service companies.
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