Over the last few years we have seen more and more interest in high power underground cable connections. The obvious question to ask is: will this be a trend? And if so, what are the consequences for the transmission and distribution grid? There are several reasons why underground cables are preferred to overhead lines, although in general cable connections are (much) more expensive.
The first reason is the limited space availability for new and existing substations with no possibility to expand and the necessary right of way for the transmission corridor. A second reason is the increased customer awareness of CAVE-thinking (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) opposing for various reasons, such as visual impact of transmission lines, nature preservation, and decrease of real estate property in the neighborhood of substations and transmission lines. A third reason is the increased reliability for the transmission grid. …READ MORE
Increasing energy efficiency savings goals associated with utility sponsored energy efficiency programs create an incentive for investor owned utilities to turn to customer analytics to better understand customer needs in an effort to find opportunities for deeper savings.
Stores, offices, banks, hotels, and hospitals will always need the lights and heat to come on. This causes what economists call “perfectly in-elastic demand.” In layman’s terms that means, no matter how much it costs, I still need it. Consequently, the price of power transportation services is highly regulated. As regulated monopolies, investor owned utilities (IOUs) historically faced minimal competitive pressures and had little justification for incurring costs associated with developing the well-defined customer analytical, segmentation, and marketing capabilities of retail marketing, financial services, and manufacturing firms. …READ MORE
Most electric power utilities have a relatively limited budget for infrastructure investments such as installing or replacing equipment. A strong business case is necessary to justify such capital expense and obtain financing from government entities or private investors. The number of rate cases in 2013 reported by EEI was the lowest since 2009. Therefore, optimal allocation of limited investment is required by identifying key investment areas.
There is a variety of smart grid equipment available that helps utilities achieve their goals of generating, transmitting, and distributing electric power to the end-user. It can be difficult to determine the best projects, where they should be applied, and to what scale. Financial and engineering studies are carried out to provide answers to important questions such as: …READ MORE