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This Week in Utilities, July 28, 2017: “The Smart Grid”

July 28, 2017

The Smart Grid

Every Friday, we round up the week’s best reads and most notable events occurring within the utilities and energy industries.

Here’s what you may have missed this week:

READ: The Journal – West’s push for one big electric grid gains steam

The Western electric grid is often referred to as a single unified entity, as we just have. In actuality, the grid is so diversified (1,000 power plants with 38 different balancing authorities) that the electrical grid is divided up in a way that makes it hard for different utilities to share power.

“Now, a growing cadre of renewable energy advocates, engineers and utility officials are working to fix that.”

READ: IEEE Spectrum – The Transformers: Superheroes of Electrical Inventions

“This technology, now being updated for the first time in more than a century, is at the very root of our electrified civilization.”

A quote from electric engineering pioneer William Stanley at his address to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1902 on the importance of transformers to electricity:

“…such a complete and simple solution for a difficult problem. It so puts to shame all mechanical attempts at regulation, it handles with such ease, certainty, and economy vast loads of energy that are instantly given to or taken from it. It is so reliable, strong, and certain. In this mingled steel and copper, extraordinary forces are so nicely balanced as to be almost unsuspected.”

NEWS: The Telegraph India – Cable-laying work exposes residents to accidents, councillors accuse local utility of flouting rules

In the ancient Indian city of Bhubaneswar, residents are no longer blaming torrential rains for the poor and unsafe condition of their roads; they’re blaming their municipality. Trenches for new underground cables have been dug, but in many areas, no fences were erected to denote the unsafe areas of the roads. In other parts of the city where power lines have been laid, the soil was laid shoddily. It was not long before the rains exposed the ground and the cables beneath.

NEWS: Science Daily – Model developed to predict, prevent power outages using big data

Students at Texas A&M University have developed a model that helps utilities assess potential vulnerabilities in their power grid during severe weather events.

Quote: “Overall the risk analysis helps predict the probability of events happening in the near future and then adds the financial impact allowing development of an optimal action plan for the utility operators to execute,” said Chen, a student who helped create the model.

NEWS: WFTV 9Florida Snake knocks out power for 22,000 customers in Florida

Believe it or not, power outages caused by snakes is a somewhat regular happenstance if you live in Florida.
Quotable Quote: “‘This time of year, the snakes are really bad,’ neighbor Cynthia Surrency said.”
A bicyclist passes the Gay Liberation sculpture along Lomita Mall at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. Beneath the roadway is five miles of fiber optic cables used to pick up vibrations and movement above ground in a research project called the Big Glass Microphone. (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group)
PRESS: Utility Dive – Novinium Awarded Golden Shovel Standard
Safety for our customers and our employees is our number one goal. We are honored to have our Golden Shovel Standard Award announced via Utility Dive. Thank you again to the GSS organization for choosing Novinium as one of their recipients in 2017!

Thanks for catching up with us. See you next week!