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Avoid Disaster By Updating Your Relaying SystemPart 1 In a Four-Part Series on Protection Engineering Is your utility at risk for events similar to those that have wreaked havoc in California due to utility-triggered wildfires? If your relaying system does not have the proper settings, you could be at risk. Recently, Finley Engineering received a…

Until about a decade ago, utility ratemaking and the resulting rate structures were determined in a very traditional manner and tended to be based on very traditional needs that utilities had, which had essentially been the same for decades. These included: the increasing costs of fuel (coal, natural gas, etc.); overall operational cost increases; cost…

In Part One, we looked at the increasing requirements on utilities by policymakers (legislatures and regulatory bodies) to spend more money to implement “grid modernization.” Here, we look at the second piece of that puzzle – the challenge that utilities have in doing so, while often facing flat, or even declining, revenue, as a result…

In Part One, we looked at the challenges that utilities face related to the increased expenses that are required to introduce “grid modernization,” which is more and more being expected by policymakers – legislatures and regulatory bodies. In Part Two, we looked at the second challenge – how utilities are expected to come up with…

The utility industry is being transformed by grid modernization, including smart grid, distributed energy resources (DER), cybersecurity requirements, utility-scale renewables, and integrating the rapidly-growing demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructures. Before utilities can effectively manage in this new environment, they must be able to gather high quality, comprehensive, accurate, and timely data from the field…

According to a March 2018 report, “Broadband Loan and Grant Programs in the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service,” prepared by the Congressional Research Service for members of Congress, concern has been raised over the “digital divide” between rural and urban or suburban areas with respect to broadband deployment. “While there are many examples of rural communities…

The electric grid’s infrastructure is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination in terms of being able to meet all of modern society’s needs for completely reliable, resilient, on-demand, and secure electric service. However, while there are those who suggest that the whole thing needs to be replaced with “all new everything,” clearer heads…

Utilities are facing a number of challenges these days, one of which is a looming trifecta of interconnected issues related to the reduced demand for grid-generated electric power in general, the fact that more and more power generation is becoming intermittent because of the growth of renewables, and that, in spite of these first two…

The electric utility industry has seen very significant changes in the last decade, especially with the advent of renewables and other technologies that facilitate energy efficiency. The latest projection is that, before long, natural gas-fired peaker plants will be replaced by “solar plus storage” technology. To date, “solar plus storage” has been a very effective…

As the cost of creating new generation has become more expensive, and as it has also become more difficult to site new generation (especially coal and nuclear) as a result of federal and state hurdles, more and more utilities have invested a significant amount of time, money and expertise in helping reduce energy demand. The idea of course:…