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Selling Consumers
on Meters, Money


Big Challenges Remain

for U.S. Offshore Wind


Selling Energy Efficiency

in the Industrial Sector

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Renewable Energy
and the Grid

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to access
Summer 2011 Energy

____________ : MAY 2011

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We need partners that

understand our vision

for the Smart Grid.

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SEL Cybersecurity Solutions

Smart Security for Routable Networks

SEL cybersecurity products improve power reliability while enhancing usability and
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Go to ___________
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MAY 2011 VOLUME 16.05

36 Solutions for Integrating PV into the Grid

Intermittency is just the beginning of the issues on the table for solar.


Reliable, Long-life Power

Cable Crucial to Wind
Energy Systems

Cable design and construction with

validated performance-based materials
is critical to meet demand.

From the Editor 6

Notes 8
Selling Consumers 18
on Meters, Money
Senior Editor Kathleen Davis
examines programs working to
convince consumers about
the joys of the smart meter.

40 Cables are so Brilliant

Theyre Boring

Senior Editor Kathleen Davis interviews

Dow Wire & Cables Simon Sutton.

44 Case Study on PLC Technology at E.ON

E.ON Sverige is beginning to build a smarter electric ggrid.

47 Hedging Utility Customerr

Service Against Disaster

Consumers are learning to understand new

smart tools for energy management.

50 Coordinating the Smart Grids

New Phase of Global Implementation

Today, utilities are seeking to expand deployments.

54 Selling Energy Efficiency

in the Industrial Sector

To ensure effective use of funds, utilities must

maximize promoting efficiency.

58 The Smart Grids Singular

Big Challenges Remain 26

for U.S. Offshore Wind

Security Challenge

A smart grid security breach could

lead to unsafe situations.

The need for a new transmission network

could hinder wind power progress.

Network Infrastructure 30
Considerations for
Smart Grid Strategies
Data creep is under way. Is
your network prepared?
PowerGrid International: ISSN 1547-6723,
is published 12 times per year (January,
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2 | May 2011


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Embrace your power. With our software solutions, you can manage and analyze
grid, customer, nancial and operational data. Simultaneously. Meaning you can
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Teresa Hansen
918.831.9504 teresah@pennwell.com

Kathleen Davis
918.832.9269 kathleend@pennwell.com

Get daily news and up-to-date industry

information online at our website. The site
features topic centers across multiple areas,
including metering, smart grid, demand response
and transmission. Online Editor Jeff Postelwait
posts fresh news every weekday morning to give
you the insiders scoop on industry leaders and
laggards. Got a lead? Drop him a line at jeffp@

Issue Archives
To see a story from our archives, visit the
POWERGRID International website at ________
www.powergrid.com. (The digital archives go all the way back to
the January 1996 issue when we were simply called
Utility Automation.)
From the home page, hover over the home
button at the top left. Then, click on current issues
under the subtopics that pop up. On the next page,
scroll down to POWERGRID Internationals latest
cover photo and click the view past issues link
thats underneath the picture.
Finally, on the next page, hit the year youd like
to visit and then scroll down to the issue you are
interested in.
And dont forget that digital pathway. You can use it
anytime to see any previous issue from POWERGRID
Internationals magazine archives: home, current
issues, past issues, year, month.

POWERGRID International is
Powering up the Twitterverse
Follow POWERGRID International on Twitter at the
username @POWERGRIDmag.
While you dont need a Twitter account to view our
updates, if you do have one, be sure to send us a
message so we know youre out thereand so we
know what news interests you the most.

Go Social
Follow POWERGRID Internationals favorite electric
T&D conference, DistribuTECH, on Facebook.
Become a friend today.
Link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/

Kristen Wright
918.831.9177 kristenw@pennwell.com

Jeff Postelwait
918.831.9114 jeffp@pennwell.com

Deanna Taylor
918.832.9378 deannat@pennwell.com

Angie ODea
918.831.9431 angieo@pennwell.com

Janet Orton
918.831.9191 janet@pennwell.com

Gloria Adams
603.891.9479 gloriaa@pennwell.com

P.O. Box 3264, Northbrook, IL 63264
phone 847.559.7501
fax 847.291.4816 pgi@omeda.com

Michael Grossman
918.831.9500 michaelg@pennwell.com


PennWell House, Horseshoe Hill, Upshire
Essex EN9 3SR, United Kingdom
phone +44.1992.656600
fax +44.1992.656700

Frank Lauinger

Robert F. Biolchini


Mark C. Wilmoth
1421 S. Sheridan Road, Tulsa, OK 74112
PO Box 1260, Tulsa OK 74101
Phone 918.835.3161 Fax 918.831.9834

POWERGRID International is the

agship media sponsor for

4 | May 2011


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the Power
of Dow Inside

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Dow Wire & Cable is a global business unit of The Dow Chemical Company and its subsidiaries.

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Californias Newest Cutting Edge

Electricity Legislation Faces Hurdles
California Gov. Jerry Brown on April 12 signed
legislation requiring the states utilities to obtain 33
percent of their electricity from renewable sources by
2020. This is the most aggressive renewable portfolio
standard (RPS) in the country. The previous California
RPS mandated 20 percent by 2020.
To people who know little or nothing about how
electricity flows through the transmission and distribution
system and whats involved in keeping the lights on, this
sounds like a great idea. Many believe the percentage
should be higher. To people who understand the ins and
outs of electricity generation and delivery, however, it
seems like a mammoth taskmaybe impossible.
Major advancement in energy storage technology
will be required to maintain reliable service with the
heavy intermittent load that 33 percent renewable
sources will introduce to the grid. Fortunately, utilities,
technology companies and government are investing
heavily in energy storage research and development. For
example, the Department of Energys (DOEs) Advanced
Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) on April 15
signed a deal with Duke Energy and the Electric Power
Research Institute to identify opportunities for testing
and deploying ARPA-E-funded projects that will bolster
the electric grid. One of the initiatives main focuses is
grid-scale energy storage.
Duke Energy committed to developing grid-scale
energy storage some time ago. It announced in November
2009 plans to match a $22 million DOE grant to install
large-scale batteries at its 153-MW Notrees wind farm
in West Texas. A few weeks ago the utility announced it
selected Austin-based Xtreme Powers energy storage and
power management system for the site.
DOE Secretary Steven Chu in April announced that
up to $130 million from the ARPA-E will be made
available to develop five new program areas that could
spark critical breakthrough technologies. This includes
$30 million to fund the Green Electricity Network
Integration (GENI) project. Although this project is not



an energy storage project, it is aimed at making the grid

able to handle intermittent load better from renewable
sources. Its main goal is to develop innovative gridcontrol software and high-voltage hardware.
A couple of articles in this issue discuss renewable
energy and the grid. On page 36 Johan Enslin of Petra
Solar writes of photovoltaic solar integration solutions.
Ram Ramachandran of Dow Wire & Cable explains the
importance of using high-quality cable in wind facilities
to mitigate maintenance issues and help ensure grid
reliability on page 22.
The industry is working on projects that should help
California utilities deliver reliable electricity services
as more renewable sources come online. Whether the
needed technology breakthroughs will occur soon
enough is unclear.
Cost could be the white elephant in the room. Even if
the technology is available in time, it will not be cheap.
Critics of the new lawincluding Pacific Gas & Electric
Co. (PG&E), the states largest utilitypredict the RPS
will create much higher electricity rates for all consumers.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, California took
a lead role in deregulating the electricity market. Its
lawmakers were sure competition among generating
companies would lower electricity prices. It didnt. At
one point wholesale electricity prices increased 800
percent. In addition, the state experienced more than
one large-scale blackout, and rolling blackouts were
common. By 2002, both operating units of PG&E
were under bankruptcy protection. Southern California
Edison was nearly bankrupt. Some reports and studies
say the botched deregulation attempt cost the state, its
utilities and consumers between $40 billion and $45
California consumers havent forgotten this debacle,
and I doubt theyll understand if this latest cutting-edge
energy legislation raises their rates.

6 | May 2011


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2010 S&C Electric Company


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Dear Ms. Hansen,
I read your From the Editor column in March 2011
POWERGRID International with some interest. I was not
surprised by your reaction to the negative comments
received in response to Onell Sotos article, but I also am
not surprised by the negative comments. I am an energy
professional, having worked as an engineer for a major
utility for 18 years and as a consultant for 22 years, and
I have many negative comments concerning the moves
toward energy conservation and the smart grid.
First and foremost, the average individual energy
consumer sees the move toward energy conservation
as an attempt by utilities to save money at consumers
expense. Most consumers remember the days when
utilities were guaranteed a return on investment in return
for supplying energy when and where needed in any
quantity needed. They remember being encouraged to
use energy to improve their lives. Now they are being
asked to curtail their use of energy and to alter their
lifestyles to make life easier for the utilities. Rather than
doing dishes, washing clothes or using hot water at the
customers convenience, these activities are to be shifted
to the times most convenient to utilities.
The consumer sees no real economic benefit for
himself or herself from energy conservation. In some
cases, utilities note that they receive less income due

to energy conservation and apply to their commissions

for rate increases, leaving consumers to feel betrayed or
played for fools.
The consumer also sees a growing intrusion into his
or her personal life. Smart appliances can report to the
utility when they are being used. Smart appliances can
be controlled remotely be the utility. (One government
study by the Department of Energy advocated mandatory
remote control of consumer appliances to reduce the
need for increased electrical generation.) In addition, a
wealth of personal information that can be inferred from
the usage patterns of various appliances.
For more knowledgeable consumers, there is
also the issue of energy security. In an age when
computer hackers can compromise any network,
steal information from almost any data base, and
compromise industrial control systems, the smart
grid appears to be a tempting target for the random
computer hacker and for the organized cyber attack
forces of hostile states and organizations.
The energy industry has not made its case to
consumers and has, in my opinion, given short shrift to
the issues inherent in the changes it proposes to impose
on a skeptical public.
Mark W. Bailey, P.E.



Satellite communication has long
been used in utility networks to
provide connectivity for supervisory control and data acquisition
(SCADA) and applications such as
voice, video and data to remote
substation sites that other communications methods cannot reach
economically. Despite this history, satellite communication often
is viewed as an exotic technology
and overlooked as a smart grid

communications option.
Satellite communication recently
has evolved in improving performance reliability and reducing costs.
Satellite networks are now two-way
communications systems built on
Internet Protocol (IP) with broadband data rates. Next-generation
coding standards have made satellite more reliable and cost-efficient. Satellite networking hardware has been engineered to meet

8 | May 2011


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Go to http://uae.hotims.com for more information.

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next-generation carrier standards,
integrating well with terrestrial wireless and wireline communications.
Advances in satellite communications and in particular very small
aperture terminal (VSAT) technologies have expanded the range of
potential smart grid applications.
These systems use small antennas
(often less than 1 meter), simpler
IP-compatible terminal equipment
and better performance than earlier
satellite systems. These VSAT solutions provide:
Broad geographic coverage,
including areas where standard
wired and wireless technologies cannot reach. Flexible data
rate performance, ranging from

16 kilobytes per second (kbps)

suitable for basic SCADA connectivity to speeds of 1 megabit
per second (Mbps) and above
in support of voice, video
and general data applications.
Performance often is enhanced
further by bandwidth optimization technologies for IP communication, such as user datagram protocol (UDP) header
Highly reliable connectivity,
suitable for day-to-day operation or as a backup to terrestrial systems during disaster
recovery situations.
Full IP-based integration with
standard wired or wireless

terrestrial networking technologies.

Lower entry cost as a result
of dynamic bandwidth-sharing
techniques such as the deterministic time division multiple
access (TDMA) technology.
Terrestrial-grade service level
agreements (SLAs) based on
advances in quality-of-service
bandwidth prioritization by user,
application, virtual local area
network (VLAN), IP address or
other identifiers combined with
static or dynamic committed
information rates (CIR).
Data security through the configuration of encrypted private

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10 | May 2011

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networks, which is necessary

for utilities to comply with
the North American Electric
Reliability Corp. (NERC) specifications. Support of multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and
VLANs separates different users,
applications or both (SCADA
vs. generalized data) with their
own bandwidth assurances.
Protection against weather conditions through adaptive modulation techniques that maintain
signal strength during rain or
solar events that sometimes
occurred with older satellite
Utilities may build and operate

their own private satellite network

by leasing dedicated bandwidth
from satellite operators such as
Intelsat and SES. If deploying many
satellite terminals, a self-managed
network can be cost-effective. For
smaller networks, however, working
through a satellite network provider
is an attractive alternative because of
the bandwidth economies of scale in
an existing providers larger network
In addition to supporting sites
such as substations and power generation plants, satellite is an increasingly viable option for other smart
grid applications, including:
Broadband connectivity to
remote substations to support


video surveillance, and voice

and data connectivity to increase
security and productivity.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) backhaul from meter
aggregation nodes, especially in
more remote, rural areas where
other technologies might not be
Distribution automation connectivity, ensuring connectivity
throughout the service territory.
Monitoring and control of
remote renewable generation
sites, such as solar or wind farm
Business continuity applications, providing links to backup network operations centers


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(NOCs) during emergency
response or disaster recovery
Redundant communications at
critical substation and distribution sites to backup terrestrial
Remote sites are not necessarily

limited to sites in rural or geographically remote locations. Sometimes

locations in urban centers have
limitations that make standard
wired technologies economically
unfeasible, including right-ofway access, line-of-sight or interference issues. In these cases,

satellite can be a viable option.

Bob Gohn is a senior analyst at
Pike Research. This piece is excerpted
from Smart Grid Technologies and
the Role of Satellite Communications
available from Pike Research. More
information on this paper and other
research is available at ________



As the smart grid gains in popularity, embedded technology that
enables two-way communications
is becoming a key component
in extracting data from legacy
equipment at the networks edge.
Intelligence can be embedded
inside meters or attached externally to equipment. The efficient
acquisition of data and control
across the network from each
isolated point are power industry
But what is critical to enabling
this real-time communications highway? The answer is communications technology embedded in utility meters, distribution substations
and other related power equipment.
Such technology enables organizations to control entire systems, read
meters and allocate power according
to need from one central location
over the Internet.
As highlighted by Pike
Researchs December 2010 smart
grid report on 10 trends to watch
in 2011, it will be important
to keep an eye on communications standards, data management
and networking vendors entering the space. Industry standards,

including IEEE802.11n, Wi-Fi

Enterprise, IEE802.3, ZigBee,
IEE802.15.4 and Bluetooth will
begin to catch up with deployments, and companies will need
to determine which works best.
Data management also becomes
more difficult as more smart
meters are deployed because of
the influx of information that
must be tracked. All this is leading to utility companies looking
at their back end databases and
business intelligence infrastructure to ensure they can handle
the data seamlessly. Its important
to bring together the range of
communications hardware and
protocolsTransmission Control
Protocol (TCP) and Internet
Protocol (IP), Simple Network
Management Protocol (SNMP),
Modbus, and Open Smart Grid
Protocol (OSGP)to remotely
control and manage the diverse
devices on the network and
behind firewalls.
The utilities industry recognizes the benefits of IP-based communication. At the substation
level, however, there are often
compatibility issues with commu-

nication hardware as a result of

using various vendors. Numerous
critical components constitute the
smart grid. Capability
is complicated further because many
components are legacy and not directly
smart grid-friendly.
Given this versatility and protocol
independence, networking technology
can bring together
diverse devices on
the network. Device
server technology
can aggregate communications of local
interfaces including
asynchronous serial,
Bluetooth, ZigBee and digital and
analog input/output (IO).
Machine-to-machine (M2M)
communications addresses the
data issue, as well. It allows for
the collection of real-time meter
data from legacy equipment,
which then can be sent to the
utility to interpret and address.
Power-consumption information

12 | May 2011

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can be sent via numerous forms

over the network, including
Ethernet, 802.11, cellular and

connectivity for applications, as

device servers allow independence
from proprietary protocols.

Organizations are challenged to

gather and process information
effectively and efficiently.
power line carrier. The challenge
occurs when companies with legacy,
non-networked equipment want to
optimize their investment in existing
infrastructure. Using external device
servers and embedded modules,
organizations can provide serial

In addition to device servers,

M2M technology provides the
ability to translate protocols to
allow nonroutable protocols to be
routed. It also offers options for
serial and network connections,
including serial tunneling and


automatic host connections.

With so much data available,
organizations are challenged to
gather and process the information
effectively and efficiently. Integrating
communications technology into
ones existing smart grid deployment enables remote access, control
and troubleshooting capabilities for
more efficient data acquisition, control, reduced costs and better customer service. It also ensures legacy
equipment can be connected to a
network. This is a top priority for
the utility industry.
Daryl Miller is vice president of engineering
at Lantronix.


Go to http://uae.hotims.com for more information.

May 2011 | 13


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The Smart Grid Maturity Model

the SGMM as a resource for

(SGMM) is one approach many

industry transformation with the

utilities use to assess where they

support of the Department of


are on the smart grid journey and

Energy (DOE) and input from

make systematic decisions about



Applying the model begins with

model a valuable tool.

Utilities use the SGMM to assess

an assessment using the SGMM

The SGMM is a management

their current state of smart grid

compass, a survey instrument

tool that helps utilities plan smart

implementation, define their goals

containing questions correspond-

grid implementation, prioritize

for a future state and generate

ing to each characteristic in the

options and measure progress.

inputs into their road mapping,

model, as well as demographic

Developed for utilities by utilities,

planning and implementation

and performance information. An

the model is hosted by the Software

processes. Major investor-owned

SGMM assessment yields a matu-

Engineering Institute (SEI) at

utilities and small public power

rity rating that represents defined

Carnegie Mellon University. The

utilities in the U.S. and around the

stages of an organizations progress

SEI is maintaining and evolving

world have reported finding the

toward achieving its smart grid

how far and how fast to go.



Maturity Level





Strategy, Management and Regulatory

Grid Operations
Value Chain Integration





Organization and Structure

Work and Asset Management
Societal and Environmental

14 | May 2011

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vision in automation, efficiency,

reliability, integration of alternative energy sources, improved



about smart grid. The way in

which they use the model differs
according to their circumstances,
but all have reported benefits from

The SGMM is useful to help

management take a step back
from day-to-day activity.
and cost savings, and access to
new business opportunities and

markets. Maturity levels must be

viewed in the context of an organizations business goals and regulatory environment. Achieving a
high level in every domain is
not necessarily a suitable goal for
every organization.
Utilities have two options for
conducting an SGMM assessment
and using the model: working
with an SEI-certified SGMM
navigator or completing a selfassessment.
Information about the SGMM,
including downloadable model
artifacts, guidance on using the
model and details on the SGMM
navigation program (including becoming a certified SGMM
navigator), is available at http://
sei.cmu.edu/smartgrid/tools. (See
Figure 1 for maturity results.)
SGMM users range from large
investor-owned utilities to small
municipalities in the U.S. and
around the world. Some are pioneers in smart grid implementation; others are just thinking

using this community resource.

For utilities that have embarked
on a smart grid journey, the
SGMM has proven useful to help


management take a step back

from the day-to-day activity, foster
cross-organization discussion and
consensus, assess progress and
refine plans.
SDG&E is working hard to
realize the benefits of smart grid,
said Lee Krevat, direct of smart
grid at San Diego Gas & Electric
Co (SDG&E). Going through
the SGMM navigation process
with our cross-cutting smart grid
team gave us an opportunity to
take a step back to share diverse
perspectives and take stock of



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May 2011 | 15


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our progress and strategic
direction. We look forward to
benefiting not just from our own
use of the model but to sharing
experiences and lessons learned
with other utilities in the SGMM
Utilities have done multiple
SGMM assessments, using it as a
standard to measure their progress and refine their strategy and
Pepco Holdings Inc. has been
involved with the SGMM since
its inception, said George Potts,
Pepco Holdings vice president of
business transformation.
We recently completed the
survey again, using the SGMM

navigation process, Potts said.

This was helpful in fostering
candid, fact-based discussion of
where we have been, where we
are today and where we expect to
be in the future. We look forward
to using the tool as an integral
part of our ongoing planning and
transformation process and in
measuring our progress.
For utilities just starting, the
SGMM can provide a reference
set of community experience and
help them establish a smart grid
road map and strategy. Some utilities also have used SGMM outputs
to communicate with stakeholders about smart grid investment
benefits and costs.

To test the applicability of the

SGMM to the public power sector,
the SEI with the support of the
DOE and American Public Power
Association conducted a pilot
study using the SGMM navigation
process with American Municipal
Power in Columbus, Ohio, and
22 of its member utilities. The
participating utilities found that
the SGMM provided a useful common language and framework for
discussing smart grid and recommended it for other public power
American Municipal Power
members said the final report
offers an objective analysis of their
utility; it provides more weight to


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Single Function

Partially Integrated
(2 Functions)
Generation, Distribution
Generation, Transmission

Distribution Only

Transmission, Distribution

Distribution, Retail


Distribution, Retail

Generation, Transmission,
Distribution, Retail

Fully Integrated
(4 Functions)


an SGMM pilot, thus providing insight at national

and regional levels. The CFE team found the process
helpful in identifying issues for discussion, providing a baseline for measuring progress and generating
valuable inputs into planning.
As of January, some 100 utilities have used the
SGMM, representing a cross section of utility types
and sizes (see Figure 2). As more utilities around the
world participate and the experience base around
the SGMM grows, it becomes an increasingly valuable resource to inform the industrys smart grid
Austin Montgomery is smart grid program lead for the Carnegie
Mellon Software Engineering Institute. David White is project manager at
the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute and a core member
of the development team for the Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM).

Distribution, Retail

ND isit u
PO s a
Bo WE t
16 2011


Partially Integrated
(3 Functions)

the results and has created a communication

tool they can share with the community to
help them leverage support as they set a
Some users have applied the SGMM
in national and regional road mapping
initiatives. During summer 2010, the
Mexican national utility, Comisin Federal
de Electricidad (CFE), and the Mexican
Energy Ministry, Secretara de Energa de
Mxico (SENER), became the first organizations to apply the SGMM at the national
level as an aid in developing a national
smart grid road map. CFE is one of the
worlds largest utilities, serving 33.9 million
After familiarizing themselves with the
SGMM, the CFE-SENER team selected a
group from three CFE divisions (representing different regions, load profiles and
conditions within Mexico) to participate in

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Selling Consumers on Meters, Money


n the days of vertically integrated monopolieswhen

utilities still referred to customers by emotionally distant names such as end users and end pointsutilities neednt worry much about people and their money.
Customers didnt have choices, and utilities didnt need
to care about customers, their choices, their money or
how they felt. Power wasnt an emotional business.
Along with the push toward the smart grid and
the influx of smart meter data comes a shift in utility
focus. Today utilities must address customers and their
emotional choices, especially about money, because in
customers minds utilities are touching a lot of itin
some cases taking it, in some cases offering it back, but
always with their fingers in it. That makes for a nervous
end point.

A benefit of the numerous smart grid or smart metering pilot programs revving up across the U.S. and
Canada is all that dataconsumption data, especially.
With all that data and timely informationsometimes
down to 15-minute intervalscomes an opportunity for utilities: changing the traditional flat-rate pricing
most work with to something dynamic that works fluidly with a demand-oriented cost structure.
But now utilities are touching peoples money, and
people take that personally. They get scared, weepy,
excited or mad about it, which can spell trouble.
You cannot fight an emotional argument with a logical one, said Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of
the Shelton Group, an advertising agency focused on
sustainable choices.
She warned utility professionals March 15 at Elsters

EnergyAxis conference in Bonita Springs, Fla., that

the average customer starts with an emotional decision then develops reasons to rationalize it. The traditional, logical approach utilities often use to sell smart
metering pilots, meter changes, pricing programs
and the smart grid mighty not be effective, she said.
Advertising messages that work best often balance an
emotional and rational promise.
When it comes to the smart grid and smart metering
programs, utilities traditionally have used a handful of
rational arguments to sell their programs to consumers:
It helps the environment,
It will help with energy efficiency, and
Bills will be more accurate.
The problem with these arguments, Shelton said, is
that the average utility sending these messages doesnt
recognize consumers emotional side that isnt rational
and is freaked out about their own money.
Using the three examples, Shelton showed studies
that debunk how effective these campaigns could be.
According to her numbers, 3 percent of the population
knows that coal-fired plants affect climate change. They
dont understand the connection between energy and
the environment, she said.
Utilities were deemed trusted with efficiency programs in the survey. Customers surveyed said utilities
are working to make things more efficient on the utility
end, but customers do not know why utilities are trying
to sell them efficiency on their end. Seventy-two percent
of customers said they are not using more power than
they were five years ago, and half of homeowners said
their homes already are efficient.

18 | May 2011

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Customers said utilities are making things more efficient on the utility side to benefit utilities and to take
more of their money. When utilities tell customers their
bills will be more accurate, customers hear, Were making things so much easier for us to tack on fees and hide
costs. Customers trust utilities to save utilities money
through energy efficiency, but customers think utilities
are ripping off consumers on billing.
Shelton showed a video of a customer control group
that revealed distrust and anger, including a consumer
who said, You ask us to conserve, and we conserve, but
the bill keeps going up.
The utilitys rational response to that customer would
be that shes consuming more, not less. Shelton returned
to the emotional vs. rational argument. Consumers dont
take ownership of their consumption, she said.
While the utility industry plans on consumers being
better partners and on realizing the benefits of smart
metering, the smart grid and new pricing, consumers
arent gaga over the idea and might be the biggest hurdle.
It will be difficult to involve customers, said Accenture
consultant Rob Hartway during another conference session on the smart grid vision of the future.
More regulation is coming, especially with rate programs, and utilities must know from where data is coming and to where it is going, panelists said. What will
drive that final smart grid vision isnt about regulation,
the utilities, efficiency or the environment; its whether
consumers accept the smart grid and smart metering as
a good thing that saves them money.
One of the biggest pain points will be customer
acceptance, Hartway said. They will be our energy
The average consumer will require education and
will be the center of the smart grid argument for
years, he said.
Panelist Wes Sylvester works in smart grid business
development at Cisco.
Reaching all the consumers will be key, he said.
Hartway said customer communication will be especially central to rolling out time-of-use (TOU) and other
variable pricing programs. Without customer acceptance


that these programs are positive for them and their wallets, utilities will have a hard time moving beyond flatrate pricing, despite having the data and mining options
to do so, he said.
One key to rolling out pricing programs will be initiating customer communication before the pricing concept
is even a gleam in the eye, before money evokes emotion.
Westar Energy, a utility serving 684,000 Kansas customers, has regulated rates. It hasnt stopped them from
introducing a smart grid pilot called SmartStar in the
Lawrence area. Some 45,000 meters are slated for installation with completion in the fall. Its a $40 million program, and the company sees potential benefits, including
a future TOU rate program. Now the company is focused
on gathering happy customers, said Kevin Heimiller,
Westar smart grid director.
Were taking a meaningful, yet cautious, approach,
Heimiller said. We need to gauge customer participation
and results or this project could be in trouble.
The full pilot program will be in place by summer
2012, complete with an online customer energy portal
to track use and cost. Westar started with communities
from the beginning, Heimiller said.
The utility pushed the program using positive, grassroots efforts: explaining projects before application,
updating local media, speaking regularly with the city
and organizations, being active in community events
(including a sidewalk sale, where they were the only
people not selling anything) and collaborating with
locals as much as possible.
Well go anywhere and talk to anyone, Heimiller
The opinion of SmartStar was 64 percent positive, a
Westar survey revealed. The utility eventually will apply
that cautious, positive, consumer grassroots approach to
TOU rates.
TOU is a large room of opportunities, Heimiller said,
but we must engage the customer to make sure they like
what we do with that.
Dominion is another utility cautiously approaching
the pricing programs smart metering can offer, said
Mike Gurganus, Dominions manager of advanced
May 2011 | 19


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metering solutions.
Dominion has 2.4 million electric customers in the
Central South, with a primarily residential and commercial base. Dominion has three meter demo areas,
including a 7,000-meter program in Richmond, Va.,
a 50,000-meter program in Charlottesville, Va., and
another 35,000-meter program in northern Virginia
(near major Washington, D.C, suburbs).
The programs major benefit is about consumer cash.
Dominion is working to enhance pricing signals and is
examining flexible bill-pay options, making the emotional side of cash positive.
Communications are key to buy in from stakeholders, Gurganus said.
Dominion worked hard early to demystify smart
meters. Next includes a dynamic-rate pilot, which is
approved and is expected to be in place by late summer.
The goal is to test customers responses to dynamicpricing signals, he said.
We havent offered customers a whole lot yet,
Gurganus said. Were testing out options.
U.S.-based Salt River Project (SRP) and Canadian
distribution utility Veridian Connections are involved in
smart meter pricing programs. SRPs program is voluntary. Veridians is mandated by the Ontario government.
Kevin Myers, manager of wholesale settlements at
Veridian Connections, said Canada fosters a cult of conservation and money isnt as large of a factor as it might
be to the average U.S. consumer. In this case, Ontario is
trying to shift load from peak times. The price signals
arent so much about change in the cash sense but more
in the sense of saving energy for the right reason, he said.
Communication becomes more important when
change is forced, Myers said.
Veridian initiated much pre-program communication,
including mailers and door hangers. They often gave
customers explanations and directions to access online
price and data information. The communication effort
involved repetition at each stage.
The company even redesigned its first TOU bill so
the charge would grab customers attention.
As of March, the impact has been minimal, Myers said.


Veridian encountered neither angry customers nor many

complaints that overwhelmed its call center. Customers
who made no consumption changes saw only small cost
increases or decreases in a month. The utility has seen
no perceptible change in load shape, either. In addition,
less than 10 percent of Veridians eligible customers have
registered for the portal, and less than 1 percent accesses
that data monthly, he said.
We dont see people logging on to analyze their data
and consumption patterns, Myers said. Were a little
disappointed that we havent seen a lot of changes, but
change takes a long time to establish.
SRPs TOU pilot is one of the biggest in the country
with 630,000 installed smart meters in Arizona, said
Ritesh Patel, SRP advanced metering infrastructure
(AMI) manager. The project began in 2003 and expanded in 2004 and 2009.
SRP customers must call and request to be added
in, unlike Veridians program. This reduces the
potential number of angry consumers because only
customers who are program-educated and programpositive make the calls.
Some 20 percent of SRP customersabout
195,000participate in the TOU pilot, which
includes Web access to hourly data and e-notifications that can be sent to cell phones.
SRP has made things simple, communicating well
with customers via a link on its home page that
asks, Are you on the right price plan? From there,
customers can examine four options served side-byside with four or five bullet points each that explain
the TOU plan, the EZ-3 plan, the basic plan and the
M-Power plan.
Whether a utilitys pricing programs are real or theoretical, customer communication is a must for a successful, emotionally positive choice for consumers.
As Shelton said, to get to that happy positive, utilities must ask, When weve got smart meters totally
deployed, what will we have? What are consumers
If a utility can answer those questions positively for
consumers and show them the savings, the emotional
reaction of electricity consumers will be a positive one
that can benefit the smart grid and the industry.

20 | May 2011

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January 24-26, 2012

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas


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Reliable, Long-life Power Cable

Crucial to Wind Energy Systems

Estimated Cumulative Number of Failures

he Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) recently

reported 22 percent growth in installed wind
energy capacity worldwide during 2010. This represented a $65 billion investment in supporting equipment and power distribution infrastructure.
To protect this investment, the balance between
total system cost and long-term system
reliability is crucial. If a wind farm developer,
independent power provider or utility
specifies quality cables made with the best
materials technology and manufactured
with exacting standards, the installation
can provide decades-long reliability with
little to no downtime for electrical losses
and expensive repairs. When it comes to
satisfying the demand for uninterrupted
power by ensuring system reliability, power
cable design and construction with validated
performance-based materials is critical.

of water-tree retardant XLPE or TR-XLPE insulation

for underground (UG) power cables. The cables
that move power from wind turbines to the grid
on-shore or offare subject to the same mechanical
and environmental stresses as those experienced
in the grid. Conventional wisdom dictates that



Classic XLPE
Additive W TR XLPW

10,000 20,000
As commercial wind farms have grown
Estimated Cumulative Experience (km/yr)
as viable alternative energy resources during As seen in Long-life XLPE-insulated Power Cables edited by Harry Orton, of Orton
Engineers International, and Rick Hartlein, of National Electrical Energy
the past 20 years, cross-linked polyethylene Consulting
Testing Research and Application Center (NEETRAC)
(XLPE) has been recognized as the choice
material for medium-voltage power cable construction. TR-XLPE becomes the choice material for wind farm
Its popularity for direct-buried and submarine cable 35kV UG power distribution cables.
is predicated on quality, competitiveness and reduced
long-term operating costs.
As demonstrated in traditional power distribution
An essential part of long cable life and system
networks (see Figure 1), however, XLPE, although reliability is using quality, raw materials tested
superior to materials such as high-molecular- to perform according to industry specifications.
weight polyethylene (HMWPE), has seen its share Cable manufacturers look for materials that deliver
of performance issues. That led to the development easy processing while producing the performance

100,000 200,000

22 | May 2011

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Base Cable Life (Years)

attributes end users expect. Flexibility, stress-crack

resistance and shield strippability are considerations
for easy installation. Once in the ground, cables
are subject to environmental stresses including
water intrusion and extreme temperature variations.
Corrosion kills cables and interrupts power
supply. It becomes increasingly important for cable
manufacturers, wind farm developers, installers,

No exclusive standards exist

for cable performance
in the wind energy market.
utilities and others in the value chain to understand
the benefits quality materials bring to power cable
design and construction.
For many years, cable has been seen as a commodity.
The general feeling is that any standard utility cable
will operate fine in any system. Because of this
commodity mindset, cable often is purchased based
on price rather than its being a critical part of
an overall system investment. Shouldnt the cable


specified have a lifespan equal to the

system it supports? This is possible with
performance cable such as TR-XLPE vs.
base cable using standard XLPE (see Figure
2). As a case in point, Dow Wire & Cable
introduced its DOW Endurance MV 4202
TR-XLPE in 1983. Studies show that nearly
30 years later, buried cable made with this
material exhibits little to no wear and has
an expected lifespan of more than 40 years.

Many raw materials suppliers and cable
makers serve the wind energy market.
Research and development at the front end
of the supply chain is important. Cable
makers, developers, IPPs and utilities
should ask about the kind of technology,
clean manufacturing and packaging
techniques, testing and validation that
goes into raw material production. Similarly, end
users should insist on specifying cable that has
gone through rigorous testing and meets at least
the current minimum performance standards set by
utilities. Trusting investment dollars to anything less
is risky.
Many testing institutes work with companies
and their customers to ensure that raw materials
and the cables produced with those materials meet
recognized national and international standards.
These organizations include: National Electric
Energy Testing Research and Applications Center
(NEETRAC), standards development agencies such
as the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies
(AEIC), Insulated Cable Engineers Association
(ICEA) and Cable Technology Laboratories (CTL).
In addition, cable makers are producing cables
that consistently exceed stringent, long-term testing
standards such as AWTT and ACLT in North America,
VDE Standards in Germany and DL/T-1070-2007
in China. These long-term testing methodologies
demonstrate a proven record of ensuring long-life,
reliable cable performance.
No exclusive standards exist for cable performance
May 2011 | 23


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in the wind energy market. End users must insist on

cables that meet, or preferably exceed, the current
power industry minimum standards. Cables form a
small percentage of the total power system cost, and
polymeric materials represent an even smaller percentage. The renewable energy industry must take a broad
view to focus on the needed system reliability that rests
largely on excellent materials, quality cable-manufacturing processes and elevated performance standards.


is not new; however, to go from the power needed to

turn a millstone to the power needed to light up and
connect communities efficiently and cost-effectively
is another story. Collaboration is essential. AWEA
and GWEC are helping as they provide gathering
places and information portals for all stakeholders. But
collaboration must exist in the trenches, as well, among
investors, developers, IPPs, utilities, equipment, cable
and material suppliers, etc., to realize the energy goals
that are legislated or soon will be.
Companies and their customers are working
together to develop, validate and adopt superior
products for cable construction and to enhance market
awareness about building power systems with the right
components used best to ensure optimum results for
the entire value chain.

Water Trees per Cubic Inch

Utilities also are implementing practices that
include cable inspection, installation and operations.
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) serves more than
400,000 electric customers in an 11,000-square-mile
area. As discussed in a joint white paper authored by
WPS and Dow Wire & Cable, the
utility has focused on cable reliPROVEN FIELD PERFORMANCE WISCONSIN
ability for 30 years as a preventive
action to delay cable replacement.
Water Trees in XLPE & TR-XLPE
Cable reliability is determined
(Dow 4202) Cables (>0.3 mm)
by WPS based on strict mateTree-retardant insulation
rial specifications, a comprehenNontree-retardant insulation
sive plan that monitors incoming
cable quality based on those spec1,000
ifications, and in training cable
installers. It all leads to effective
system management.
Similarly, as a way to provide
mutual value and insight, many
utilities conduct and share field
aging evaluations that provide
And, at a fair price that recognizes the total system
to materials suppliers and cable manufacturers a
broader view of cable and system performance vs. cost, including the potential to specify quality cable
depending solely on accelerated aging tests in a lab. once rather than the additional expense of repair and
A joint evaluation conducted by Alabama Power and replacement over the systems lifetime.
NEETRAC confirm the robustness of TR-XLPE cables
S. Ram Ramachandran is global director of end-use marketing
made and installed in 1985 (see Figure 3). Results
for Dow Wire & Cable, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co.
indicate that cable life in excess of 40 years easily can
Ram and his team interface with global end users such as utilities,
be projected.
communications groups, off-shore drillers and regulatory boards. He is
For anything worth pursuing, it takes a community
of likeminded people to achieve success. Wind power


a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

(IEEE) and is chairman of the Power Cable Standards Discussion Group
of IEEE/Insulated Conductors Committee. He has eight patents and is
the author of more than 20 papers.

24 | May 2011

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Wind Power Works

for Electric Utilities
Not only does wind power provide a clean source of electricity, it keeps
electric rates low and provide a hedge against fossil fuel price volatility
once wind projects come on-line. Wind energy costs have dropped
over the past few years as wind turbine technology has matured, with
taller towers, and with improved wind turbine efciency. Wind energy is
now one of the most cost-effective sources of new electricity generation,
competing with new installations of natural gas and costing less than
either coal or nuclear power. Thats one reason wind power has added
35% of all new generating capacity to the U.S. grid since 2007 thats
twice what coal and nuclear added combined.

for the 4th Annual Utilities and Wind Power Seminar
at the AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium,
November 2, 2011 in Carlsbad, California.
Attendees wont want to miss the
in-depth presentations and
interactive discussions on the
most important issues facing
electric utilities and wind power
implementation, providing insight
and topical information.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is working with

electric utilities all over the U.S. to help them bring wind energy to
their customers as a source of emissions-free and domesticallyproduced electricity but also as a source of clean energy jobs.
Learn more about AWEA membership for utilities and how your utility
can get involved directly in the wind energy industry.

Go to: www.awea.org/utility to learn more or send an e-mail to


utility@awea.org today !!

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Big Challenges Remain for

he U.S. could see as many as 10 GW of offshore
wind capacity installed by 2020. But it wont be
easy, say industry experts.
There are some 5 GW in planning right now, but
who knows how much of this can be realized, said Dirk
Matthys, the North American chief executive of Spanish
turbine maker Gamesa. He said that growth will hinge
on how fast the government can streamline a new program to approve projects.
Other hurdles such as local opposition and the need
for a new transmission network could also hinder progress, said Matthys.
Nevertheless, he believes it is possible to develop 5-10
GW in the U.S. within the next decade.
Washingtons incentive programs must also be
increased for longer-term planning, observers add.
There is a big lack of long-term incentives which you
need for project planning purposes, said Mark Rodgers,
communications director at Cape Wind, the company
trying to develop the countrys first offshore wind farm
off the coast of Massachusetts.
According to Rodgers, the government has a project
loan program and tax credit scheme in place for this
year. But its uncertain if these programs will be extended

into 2012 and beyond.

Cape Wind, which has secured power purchase
agreements for the first half of the facilitys future output,
hopes to begin building the 130 turbine wind farm late
this year. However, the developer is still trying to find
another buyer for the other half of the power.
In an effort to help the industry out, the Department
of the Interior launched the Smart from the Start
scheme last year to hasten project review and approval
times to 1-3 years from the more typical seven-year time
The program created an accelerated leasing process
to encourage more offshore wind development along the
Atlantic seaboard.
Charlie Natale, a consultant with ESS Group, said
Smart from the Start is substantially speeding up project
approvals, helping early offshore projects gain traction
in the U.S.

26 | May 2011

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The program has enabled a string of projects from

Maine to North Carolina to more quickly move into
advanced stages of planning and permitting, with
projects in Road Island, Delaware and New Jersey
furthest along.
However, accelerated project approvals wont have a
major impact if the transmission infrastructure isnt able
to handle the wind farms. According to ESSs Natale, the
lack of transmission is the sectors greatest challenge.
The existing electricity transmission system doesnt
have the capacity to handle the additional and pulsating
energy that will come from the offshore projects, he
explained, adding that costly electromechanical equipment will be needed to convert fluctuating voltage flows
so the landline system can absorb the electricity.
Natale expects the first offshore farms will be hooked
inland through a zonal approach in which different
facilities will connect through so-called collector platforms. This is not an immediate solution, as platforms
like these are still being tested in Europe.
Right now the collector platforms are being deployed
by Siemens and ABB in the North Sea so they will need
to succeed there before they can be used in the U.S.,
he noted.
There are also plans for an Atlantic Wind Connection
(AWC) mega project that will provide a high-voltage
backbone from the Carolinas to New England. The network will be connected to the sea bed and jump off at
two or three locations to feed into New England, New
Jersey, New York and Virginia. When finished, it will
have the capacity to deliver 6,000 MW of wind power to
the mid-Atlantic states.
But, as Natale pointed out, this initiative will be very
expensive and complicated and is seen as a long-term
solution to the sectors transmission woes.
Transmission and incentives arent the only factors that
need to improve; there is still plenty of room to advance
the technology as well.
According to Gamesas Matthys, the industry can still
do a lot to improve the efficiency and reliability of turbines. Specifically, he said, generation costs must come
down to the Department of Energys recommended
12-13 cents per kWh in the near term, down from 20


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cents today. Beyond that, developers must hit 10 cents

per kWh in the next decade.
Gamesa recently teamed with Northtrop Grumman
to build an offshore wind technology center and
develop next-generation wind systems. Under the
alliance, Gamesa will launch its first G11X-5 MW
offshore prototype in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of
2012. The Madrid-based firm also intends to work on
a 7 MW prototype, Matthys said.
Matthys boasted that Gamesas latest offshore turbines are more reliable and can last up to 30 years
instead of 20 years like rival machines.
The generation costs of offshore projects need to
be lower, and the way to do this is to have a more
reliable project. Our turbines help meet this requirement, he explained.
If generation costs can be cut, offshore wind will
start to gain market share in the U.S., even with transmission constraints. As Matthys explained, in some


cases the transmission problem isnt as big as it is for

onshore projects.
The big advantage of offshore is that it will be
very close to the main energy consumption markets [in the East coast] like New York, Philadelphia,
Washington, Baltimore etc, Matthys said. The big
onshore resources are in the mid west and you would
need to build big transmission lines to meet these
markets demand and this will also be expensive and
However, even with some of this positive movement,
it will take many years for offshore wind to catch up to
the pace of onshore development in the U.S.
Ivan Castano is a freelance journalist based in Miami. His work has
appeared in Thomson Reuters International Finance Review (IFR), Dow
Jones Financial News, Euromoney, Trade & Forfaiting Review and a range of
trade publications covering the capital markets, private equity, loan, credit and
restructuring markets. This article originally appeared on _________
Renewable Energy
World.com, a sister publication of POWERGRID International.

Stay informed with

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Hansen, Editor in Chief of POWERGRID International, Electric Light
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Better Wind Power Integration

through More Accurate Forecasts
Wind power supply is an
increasingly significant factor in
energy utility operations and
power portfolios. But because
of the intermittent characteristics of wind, it can be a difficult
energy source to integrate.
Utilities have traditionally
dealt with a controllable supply
source, such as coal, nuclear
and natural gas, which can be
dispatched in known units. Wind
power, in contrast, is variable.
Utilities have experience with
managing variable load, but
managing variable supply
is more challenging. This is
especially true because wind
power forecasts have a higher
rate of error than traditional load
forecasting, due to the highly
variable nature of wind.

effects that exist at all wind

plants. This forecasting approach
requires less observational data
than traditional wind power
forecasting methods. The training
needs to be done with power
datathe variable utilities really
need to predictnot observed
weather data. Meteorological
tower observations are not
needed for optimal forecasts.
This can be very beneficial, as
observed weather data is often
expensive to gather, is of poor
quality, or may simply not be
available at all.

We are at a critical stage in the

wind power industry: Utilities
must integrate valuable wind
power sources more efficiently
into their energy mix while
continuing to add larger and
larger amounts of it into their
portfolios. With a system that
provides a more accurate wind
power forecast, achieving these
objectives becomes much more
attainable for utilities.
Don Leick is senior energy product
manager at Telvent. Wind Power Forecasts by
WindLogics is delivered exclusively to utilities
by Telvent.

Therefore, to successfully
integrate, utilities need the most
accurate wind power forecast
possible. Inaccurate wind
forecasts cost utilities significant
money through TSO imbalance
penalties, having to fill shortfalls
with spot market purchases or
accessing reserves. Too often,
utilities are playing it safe and
not utilizing the amount of wind
that is available to them, due
to the lack of confidence in the
forecasts. More accurate wind
power forecasts would enable
utilities to utilize more of the
forecasted available power at
lower risk, and even potentially
reduce spinning reserves costs.
Focusing not on wind, but on
wind power, is key. A forecast
system needs to learn the
patterns of the complex terrain
effects and turbine waking


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Distribution Substation Information Infrastructure

Fire Wall

Control Center
Magnum 10KT Managed Switch
Magnum DX940
Wireless Router

Magnum 6KQ
Managed Field

1588 Precision
Timing Required




tric Co.

tric Co.



tric Co.





Network Infrastructure Considerations

for Smart Grid Strategies

ey smart grid components

include remote control and
automation, two-way communications and enhanced information
technology targeted to both utilities and their customers. In addition to upgrading and hardening
the power utility infrastructure,
the smart grid is designed to help
consumers and power companies
make smarter decisions about how
they use power. That requires much
information and much data analysis.
The implications for infrastructure

providers are huge. As in other

information intensive markets
before smart grid, data creep is well
underway. According to a December
2010 SBI Energy study, The Smart
Grid Utility Data Market, the
volume of smart grid data moving
through the infrastructure network
will grow from 10,780 terabytes
(TB) in 2010 to more than 75,200
TB in 2015.
It is clear that the infrastructure

in the substation and distribution

segments of the smart grid must
undergo changes to accommodate
this dramatic increase in data (see
Figure 1). First, it is easy to predict
that Internet protocol (IP) technology is a key smart grid enabler
because it is standards-based,
flexible and scalable. Second, the
switches and routers deployed
throughout the infrastructure must
adapt to the increased data demands
by supporting greater throughput
and also by assisting in intelligent

30 | May 2011

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Hubbell Power Systems offers product solutions for increased
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bandwidthprotective routing of
information through protocols such
as Internet Group Management
Protocol (IGMP). Third, new software applications and protocols that
support security, optimize routing
and simplify and streamline data
management must be developed.
To make smart grid work, most data
management, analysis and visualization must be automateallowing
humans to deal with the exceptions.
There is no right way to implement a smart grid. Solutions are as
disparate as the types of utilities and
the regions in which they operate.
A municipally-owned utility in the
Northwest, a public/private collaborative venture in the Southwestern
desert and a rural cooperative in the
mountains of Appalachia all have
different operational challenges as
well as differing political and financial considerations.
As electric utilities contemplate
their strategies for data collection
and management, they need a variety of options. Following are some
critical considerations:
Standards-based implementation,
Bandwidth scalability,
Wireless communications, and
Powerful and robust software.
Smart grid network infrastructure
needs to be IEC 61850-3 compliant
to support interoperability and scalability, and it needs to be substationhardened to withstand challenging
environments in remote locations.
IEC 61850 is an international standard for communication in power
generation facilities and substations.

By integrating key functions within

a substation, such as protection,
control, measurement and monitoring, and by providing the means for
high-speed protection applications,
IEC 61850 simplifies power management and paves the way for other
initiatives, such as smart grid.
Additionally, IEEE 1588 v2 is a
breakthrough timing protocol that
offers, for the first time, sub-microsecond synchronization for clocks
in various substation and power
delivery devices such as sensors and
actuators over an Ethernet network.
It is a critical component for allowing
utilities to offer the precision timing
required to support the control algorithms required for modern power
management and delivery systems.
While sub-microsecond synchronization is valuable, increasing automation is likely to require synchronization at tens of nanoseconds rates
in the near future, and equipment
suppliers must develop, market and
support the standards-based hardware and software required at that
level of precision, based on the IEEE
1588 v2 standard.
With smart grid, an emphasis
exists on distributed energy sources,
some of which will be consumer
supplied, such as solar panels and
small wind farms (see Figure 2).
These distributed energy sources
pressure utilities to track and
manage load. Most green power
sources are intermittent, requiring
more communication along the
grid to ensure that power is
supplied when and where needed.


At the same time, automatic meter

reading (AMR), with its potential
not only to measure power use at a
customer site in real time but also to
provide feedback on power usage,
generates enormous amounts of
data. On the physical security side,
surveillance developments provide
streaming video information,
often in high definition, that can
overwhelm a network that is not
sufficiently scalable and intelligent
in its data transmission through
the use of routing tools such as
IGMP at the router level, and even
switch-based Layer 2 IGMP-based
data management tools.
Switches and routers can support greater numbers of ports, particularly fiber ports, with the introduction of small-form-factor fiber
ports. Small-form-factor fiber ports
for both 100Mb and gigabit provide
bandwidth to accommodate the
increased video security demands
for the power utility industry. In
addition, the reduced cost of fiber
media has made IT physical security
more affordable. The increased port
density also increases network reliability by providing fewer failure
Reliability is a leading smart grid
driver. The impetus for redundant
network paths to enhance reliability
has been in place for years. With
security threats and increased power
demands, redundancy is no longer
a luxury. In addition to an insatiable
need for continuous flows of data
to monitor and manage the smart
grid, the industry is also contemplating a surge in energy demand.
Consider, for example, mass-market
electric cars, each of which can

32 | May 2011

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H Y D R O V I S I O N I N T E R N A T I O N A L 2 0 11
JULY 19 22, 2011 | SACRAMENTO, CA | USA

W W. H Y D R O E V E N T. C O M
9 2 % of attendees rated the conferen
nce sesssionss above average
9 1 % of attendees rated the event above average in value to their day to da
d y workk
8 9 % of all participa
p nts indicated
d th
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*Source: HydroVision International 2010 independent survey

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Power Grid Information Infrastructure

Control Center
Distribution Substation

Distribution Substation

Distribution Substation

Magnum DX940
Wireless Router

Distribution Station
Magnum 10KT
Managed Switch

Distribution Substation

draw as much power as all other

electrical devices in some homes.
A large number of cars plugged in
at the same time could tax power
delivery and possibly bring a utility to its knees. The impending
electric-vehicle power demand tops
the growing list of devices that are
increasing electricity demand, from
communications devices, industrial
facilities and even gadgets at home
and work.
Switches, routers and other networking products for the smart
grid will require redundant power
supplies along with network-path
redundancy to ensure that data continues to flow. For example, security
concerns and increasing demand
suggest that even 1U rack-mount
switches need hot-swappable
power supplies to reduce downtime. Networking software that

incorporates features such as

RSTP-2004 is also key in minimizing downtime for critical utility
applications. Designing redundancy
into network paths to every important device is critical to maintaining
uptime in power substations and
distribution systems in smart grid
communications networks.
Wireless extensions to Ethernet
networks have been gaining in
popularity as the power industry
has embraced distributed data collection, monitoring and control.
Wireless communications technology is a major enabler of AMR device
installations on the consumer side,
where fiber cabling would be costprohibitive. Wireless has also made
it possible to cost-effectively bring

remote substations, particularly in

rugged terrain, into smart grid management systems.
Routers, hardened to meet the
demands of substation conditions,
must offer reliable cellular communication to quickly and economically support AMR applications
and to reach dispersed power facilities, including widely distributed
green power generation sites. Work
remains to be done in this area as
wireless technology brings its own
challenges into smart grid infrastructure development with both
security and regulatory concerns.
As wireless deployments increase,
equipment vendors and the power
industry continue to review and
refine wireless functionality.
Smart grid systems require extensive software support for success.
Substation switches and routers are

34 | May 2011

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at the heart of data collection and

management activities, thus switch
and router operating software must
support the latest precision timing
(IEEE 1588v2) and fault recovery
(RSTP-2004) protocols. Security is
another issue. Security protocols
and standards are mandated by
NERC CIP regulations and other
security initiatives that help drive
increased tools and protocols for
ensuring that critical smart grid
installations can withstand cyber
attacks and reliably manage and
direct huge data volumes.
Vendor-supplied software provides increasingly sophisticated
ways of sorting and managing data
to support the overall smart grid
infrastructure. Equipment providers

must look to provide increasingly

sophisticated and standards-based
network management and network
operating systems. In addition, systems vendors such as Industrial
Defender and SUBNET Solutions
supply integrated security and management systems that use interoperability standards to ensure smooth
data flow and infrastructure management among different smart grid
vendors equipment.
A firm hardware and software
foundation that provides security
and multiple options for power
utility network designers will ease
the way to implementing networks
that meet utilities varying smart
grid solution needs. Because new
power systems also bring increased


security concerns and government

regulations, and because evolving
standards and increasing precision
packet timing demands are the
norm today, utilities must identify
equipment, software and network
protocols that can adapt to changes.
Flexible solutions, built on industry
standards, provide the best platform for smart grid data movement and manipulation, because
they provide a platform capable of
evolving over time.
Jim Krachenfels directs the GarrettCom
marketing efforts. Krachenfels has more than
10 years experience in marketing programs
and product management in the networking
industry, including positions at Cisco Systems
and SPEEDCOM Wireless. He can be reached at

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Day 1
Day 2
Day 3


Power Product (kW)








Time (Hour)


Solutions for Integrating PV into the Grid


olar powers role in the global

power generation portfolio
is growing year over year largely
because solar generation increasingly makes economic sense.
This burgeoning economic case
results from a combination of
incentives such as solar renewable
energy credits (SRECs) and mandates including renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and because
solar solutionsespecially when
they have smart grid and other
functionality built incan be
packaged into profitable business
propositions without subsidies. As
these forces grow solar powers
prominence, power grids must
handle far more photovoltaic (PV)
input than before. To accomplish
this, solar power and the grid have
some growing up to do.
Large-scale solar power faces
significant challenges integrating
into the grid. Centralized solar
generation, including large PV

arrays, or solar farms, can be subject to intermittency. Even in the

sunniest climates, clouds inevitably pass over solar farms, resulting
in problems such as voltage fluctuations, distribution losses and
reduced power quality and power
balancing. In the worst case, this
can result in lower power reliability for end users, and utilities
feel the effect via increased wear
and tear on grid hardware: Solar
generation can make capacitor
banks, breakers, voltage regulators, load tap changers and other
power equipment work harder
and wear out faster. PVs potential stress to the grid coincides
with pressures from other rapidly
developing technologies, such as
electric vehicles, which will call for
grid upgrades.
Several opportunities exist to
hasten massive PV integration
into the grid. Primary among
them is highly distributed PV

generation because higher degrees

of PV distribution deliver a more
stable power supply and reduce
impact on grid assets. Standard
PV inverters are not optimized for
interfacing with the grid; maximum
PV penetration requires developing
the right inverters for the job.
Also, PVs business case can be
strengthened by adding value via
smart grid and other functionality
at generation points. Finally, local,
state and federal policies can be
designed to promote rather than
inhibit PVs growth (see Figure 1).
Throughout power grid history,
the most reliable strategies for providing power have relied on a
diverse mix of power generation.
In PVs case, that generation diversity is best manifested through
geography. When generation
is concentrated in one location,
however, local weather such as

36 | May 2011

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cloud cover or snow can affect an

entire solar power plants output.
With PV plants reaching 100-MW
capacities, local weather can affect
enormous amounts of electrical
output, potentially impacting local
businesses, hospitals, schools and
other power consumers.
As we have seen in Public Service
Electric and Gas (PSE&G)s ongoing installation of up to 200,000
Petra Solar PV panels throughout
New Jersey, when PV is installed
as a virtual power plant (VPP)
in a highly distributed network,
weather risk attenuates. A statewide or regional network of strategically distributed PV generation
offers consistent power throughout the network because weather
impacting one part of the distribution region is unlikely to affect
other parts of it simultaneously
(see Figure 2).

can be implemented faster than

solar farm construction, bringing
solar power online incrementally
throughout an installation project
rather than forcing communities
to wait for project completion to
reap new power. VPPs also provide
opportunities to add smart grid
functionality, such as power
monitoring and conditioning and
grid communications, from the
distributed points of PV generation.
The only way PV generation
will integrate with the grid on
a large scale is for it to grow
up and act like any other power
plant. To reach this maturation
point, associated technologies,
especially inverters, energy storage and weather forecasting, must
continue to evolve. Inverters must
handle reactive power better so

The only way PV generation will

integrate with the grid on a large
scale is for it to grow up and act
like any other power plant.
Such distribution also has
economic benefits. While solar
farms achieve some economies of
scale, these land-intensive projects
can fall victim to regulatory
entanglement. Distributed systems,
however, can be installed on
available public infrastructure
such as utility and lighting
poles, highway infrastructure,
public buildings rooftops and
publicly owned marginal land.
Such installation schemes usually

PV can operate in closer proximity to other generators. They

must offer better ramp control
to mitigate the effects of sunlight
loss. Finally, these technologies
must offer smart grid functionality
such as power conditioning to add
to their value and to add value to
solars business case.
Once PV generation functions
like any other generation source,
it will be dispatchable. System
operators will be able to request


a certain amount of power and

know they will receive it. For PV,
this will require better and lower-cost energy storage technology and better weather forecasting systems for centralized and
distributed generation so system
operators can plan more accurately around likely sunshine and
resulting power output.
Because recent solar subsidies
have a limited lifespan, PV also
must present an enhanced business case to utilities if they are
to implement solar on a large
scale. Ever-cheaper solar panels
are only part of making PV more
affordable. More important is the
ability for PV to build a comprehensive value package of which
generation is only a part. Highly
distributed PV systems can do
this by adding value with smart
grid communications, power
monitoring, power conditioning
and other ancillary services. In
these cases, project capital costs
may be higher, but with enhanced
return on investment overall project payback arrives more quickly
and levelized cost of electricity
(LCOE) is lower. Building such a
value proposition, which expands
beyond power generation alone,
has been core to enabling utility
executives to implement systems
such as integrated PV and smart
grid solutions.
Understanding how peak power
usage interplays with PV generation is also critical to maximizing
PVs value proposition. Solar generation holds inherent advantages
May 2011 | 37


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over wind power because solars

peak production naturally comes
during peak-load use times, commanding higher rates, whereas
wind generation tends to produce
more at night when power is in
lower demand and sells for less.
Further, there are ways to maximize solars peak-pricing advantage. For example, tilting solar
panels slightly to the west can be
more profitable because they generate less power overall but produce more power during peak use.
Finally, distributed systems
offer cost advantages because
they skirt siting, permitting and
other regulatory obstacles that
can hamstring centralized solar
generation and add greatly to
their costs. Because distributed PV
generates power close to its point
of use, distribution power loss is
mitigated and no new distribution or
transmission infrastructure, like that
for accommodating centralized solar
farms, must be built. Because highly

distributed PV assets begin feeding

power to the grid immediately
upon installation, they also offer
opportunity cost advantages over
large solar projects that might not
produce power throughout their
multiyear construction.
While PV is maturing beyond
the point of total reliance on
government incentives, mandates
and other policy, smarter standards
are required for PVs integration
with the grid. Many standards
regulating PVs interaction with
the grid were enacted 20 years ago
when PV power production was
small and the main objective was
to ensure home solar production
did not interfere with grid
operations. Creating solar virtual
power plants in which inverters
act within the grid like traditional
generation sources requires a
refreshed regulatory framework
based on todays technology


picture. Energy efficiency policies

are critical to solar development;
lowering overall energy use eases
overall stress on the grid and
generation, while allowing PV
generation to assume a higher
percentage of overall production.
In coming decades, PV power
will make up a substantial part
of many local generation portfolios. With maximum distribution
of generation, the right inverters, smart business models and
realistic policy, we can look forward to welcoming solar powers
clean, reliable contribution to our
power supply.
Johan Enslin, who has a doctorate in
psychology, is the chief technology officer
at Petra Solar. In an academic and business
career spanning nearly 30 years, Enslin has
consulted more than 80 U.S., European, Asian
and African power utilities, governments and
companies, written more than 250 technical
journal and conference papers and secured
14 patents. He is a registered professional
engineer, Fellow of the SAIEE and Senior
Member of the IEEE.

38 | May 2011

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January 24 26, 2012

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

San Antonio, Texas



The Utility Products Conference & Exposition brings the pages of Utility Products magazine to life and brings
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Cables Are so Brilliant Theyre Boring

Cables remain a singular mainstay of power
transmission and distribution. Even though Nikola Tesla
toyed with massive power transfer through the bare air
at the turn of the previous century, the infrastructure
of pylons, poles, insulators and cables still dominates
electric delivery today.
o get an insiders view of cables, POWERGRID
International spoke in April with Simon Sutton,
European end use marketing manager at Dow Wire
& Cable. Sutton discussed the trends and research
involved in power cabling, whats on the horizon and
why no reader should think of cables as a dull topic.


PGI: Some of our readers think cable is one of the

most boring parts of the power industry. Whats most
exciting about cable?
Sutton: Some people may perceive cables as a bit
boring, but thats simply because they are out of sight
and generally so reliable. Assets that fail make utility
engineers excited, but for all the wrong reasons.
What a cable looks like hasnt changed much in the
last 40 years. However, whats exciting is the number
of advancements made during that time, including
improvements in cable design, material quality and
manufacturing practices. Cleanliness of insulation
and semiconductive materials is a good example.
Its no trivial feat to achieve and maintain the extrahigh-voltage (EHV) materials that we offer with no
contaminants larger than 70 micrometres(m).
PGI: What are the most important aspects a utility
should keep in mind if shopping for transmission
Sutton: The key aspects here are quality of cable
materials, manufacture and installation, including
commissioning. All of these are required to achieve
high circuit reliability and low life cycle costs. If you get
any one of these wrong, you can expect poor reliability

from the cable in service. Its also important to ensure

that the cable complies with at least the minimum of
national or international standards.
PGI: What about distribution cable?
Sutton: Its a similar story for distribution cable: Focus
on quality in materials selection and manufacturing
to high standards. The utility engineers job is more
complicated for medium-voltage (MV) cables than
high- or extra-high-voltage (HV/EHV) cables from two
broad aspects. First, there are more material choices
available in the market and far greater variability in
quality if we look globally. Second, current MV cable
standards in many parts of the world are not robust
PGI: Dow Wire & Cable supplies materials for EHV,
HV, MV and LV power cables. Whats the biggest
seller, and wheres it all headed?
Sutton: The volume of material in any cable depends
on a variety of factors including conductor size and
electrical stress level, so there is progressively more
material per meter of cable as you move from LV to
EHV. Conversely, cable length installed increases as
you move from EHV to LV. Overall its a complex issue.
Looking to the future, adequate energy infrastructure
is a global issue. Many developed regions are facing the
prospect of asset replacement of decades-old power

40 | May 2011

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and semicons in recent years, but to the naked

eye the materials look the same; insulation
is still white, semicons are still black.
Where these advances are seen is in the
performance of cables made with these
systems, whereas emerging regions are building new
networks. All need reliable long life cable.
PGI: What are the biggest hurdles cable makers have
overcome recently in the power arena?
Sutton: Similar to many other industries dependent on
petroleum-based feedstocks, price is the biggest hurdle.
There continues to be strong volatility in feedstocks and
cable makers, as well as material suppliers like Dow
Wire & Cable, have to price their materials and products
accordingly. Another hurdle is simply perception. It goes
back to what we talked about earlier. Just because cables
look the same doesnt mean they are the same. Longterm performance matters and cable material selection
decisions should be made accordingly.
PGI: What does the future look like for cable?
Sutton: The future is bright. Energy infrastructure
needs increase largely in line with economic growth,
hence the industry continues to focus on Brazil, Russia,
India and China. Also, with so much emphasis on
alternative energy, particularly wind farms, we see a lot
of growth potential here. After all, no matter how the
power is generated, power cables, transformers and
other network assets will still be needed to transmit
and distribute the electricity.
PGI: A lot of people wouldnt see cable as having a
variety of quality aspects because its not all that hightech. How would you dispel this belief?
Sutton: Simply put, utilities needs and expectations
for very long-life cables dictate very high-quality
cables in terms of performance. As a matter of fact,
Dow Wire & Cable invests a significant amount of
time and resources on R&D, testing and validation
before our materials even arrive at the cable maker.
Significant advances have been made in insulation

PGI: What area of the European power market will

Dow Wire & Cable focus on for the next couple of
Sutton: In Western Europe well be concentrating on
the MV market, mostly in regard to system expansion
and opportunities in the renewable sector. We also
expect significant activity in HV and EHV cable. In
Eastern Europe and Russia we are emphasizing the
importance of high-quality materials for distribution
and transmission cables. We are also taking some
strategic steps to expand our overall presence in the
energy marketplace and will be launching some new
products in the months to come.
PGI: Do you see other industry trends?
Sutton: Yes, more and more EHV cable is being
installed in both cities and as part of long overhead lines
(OHL) away from towns. This trend for undergrounding
is also seen at MV and HV. This is happening for several
reasons: underground cables often require a smaller
right-of-way vs. OHL, are more resilient to weather
threats like storms and ice, and enhance property values
through better visual aesthetics.
PGI: Youve just been appointed to CIGREs
Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) for solid insulating
materials. What does this group do? And what is the
Sutton: The SAG for solid insulating materials
operates within CIGRE Study Committee D1 (Materials
and Emerging Test Techniques) and is responsible,
amongst other things, for proposing new topics for
study and developing the terms of reference for
the working groups. This SAG covers all insulating
materials such as polyethylene, epoxies and silicones.
Id be more than happy to receive suggestions for
future topics from readers of this article.

May 2011 | 41


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Proof PositiveTM Copper provides immediate traceability through
laser-etched TraceID codes on the center strand. Get the hard
proof you need to prosecute thieves. Call your Southwire
representative today for a product demonstration.


License key and serial

number unique to each
foot of cable.

Web-based interface
provides ownership
data 24/7

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Southwire approached a utility customer to see if they would
install a sample of Proof PositiveTM Copper, a new theft deterrent
marked copper conductor, in a theft-prone substation just outside
a metropolitan area. This new solution provides immediate proof
of ownership through laser-etched serial codes that tie back to
ownership data stored in an online database. Prior to the install,
Southwire met with the utility and representatives from their recycler
to present the product and demonstrate how the web-based
tracking system operates. The customer installed ground wire
samples of 4/0-7 copper conductor from Southwire in late March 2009.
As expected, all of the new grounding conductor was cut out by
thieves within one week. The utility notied local recyclers to be
on the lookout for the stolen copper.
Two weeks after the theft was reported, a man brought some
copper to a recycler to sell. The manager recognized the piece
of copper from Southwires on-site presentation at the utility and
was able to positively identify it as Southwires marked conductor
and trace ownership back to the utility. Knowing this copper had
been stolen, the recycler notied the utility and their security team.
While the police and utility representatives were en route to identify
the conductor, another man came to the recycler with another piece
of the stolen Southwire conductor to sell.
After determining the source of this stolen copper, police raided
a copper-fencing house and apprehended a third criminal for the
resale of stolen property. All three thieves were soon in jail awaiting
trial on felony charges. Because the conductor had the serial codes
that could prove without a doubt the actual owner,
the utility had enough evidence to proceed with prosecution.

The utility even reported a drop in theft

for a period following the arrests,
says Charles Holcombe, Product
Development Engineer for Southwires
Energy Division.You cant ask for
better success than that.


Southwire created Proof Positive Copper as a solution to help
customers break the cycle of copper theft and increase apprehension
and prosecution rates. The traceable product and online system
provide the chain of ownership missing in other theft deterrent
products on the market today.
In talking with customers, we determined that the traceability of
stolen copper to prove ownership is the key element needed for
prosecution, Holcombe says. We used that information to design
Proof Positive Copper so it meets the needs of utilities, recyclers and
Proof Positive Copper also provides long term theft deterrence
through its recognizable tinned outer stranding. Easy visual
identication is important to alerting recyclers to track what has likely
been stolen. As word of the prosecution friendly product makes it
way to thieves, it deters them from stealing the conductor in the rst
The online database, available at www.2IDCU.com, provides
ownership information of every foot of Proof Positive Copper and is
accessible 24/7 for utilities, recyclers, and law enforcement to trace
ownership in seconds.
Utilities now have a means of proving ownership which will make
their security and legal investments in curbing copper theft pay off.
Southwire currently manufactures Proof Positive Copper in bare
copper sizes #2 through 1000 kcmil in stranded constructions and in
#2 through #8 in solid constructions. Contact Southwire today to nd
out how you can break the cycle of copper theft at your utility.

Southwire Company
One Southwire Drive
Carrollton, GA 30119

Go to http://pgi.hotims.com for more information.

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Case Study on
PLC Technology at E.ON

xactly what constitutes a smart grid continues

to be debated in the industry. Some take a
narrow view, limiting the scope of the smart grid
to a few applications. Others prefer a broad, longterm approach that encompasses the full range of
potential applications throughout the transmission
and distribution infrastructures. No matter the point
of view, smart utilities in countries around the world
are realizing the smart grid can play a broader,
more strategic role and should begin using the
existing infrastructure available to them to build the
groundwork for their future smart grid initiatives.
E.ON Sverige, Swedens largest utility, is one of
a growing number of utilities that are beginning to
build a smarter electric grid. E.ON is a major public
utility company in Europe and is the worlds largest
investor-owned energy service provider. As result
of mergers, E.ON operates in Germany, Spain, Italy,
Norway, Sweden and the U.K. E.ON sees advanced
metering infrastructure (AMI) as an application
critical to the utilitys daily operationsthe first of
many applications it will operate on its smart grid.
E.ON initially planned to use its AMI network
exclusively for meter reading, but the utility quickly
recognized the need for a versatile, extensible
solution capable of supporting additional smart grid
applications. E.ON chose a networked energy services
(NES) system. For the AMI local area network, E.ON
chose to use power line carrier (PLC) technology.
E.ON chose PLC for various reasons. First, every
utility has a core competency for managing its electric
grid. With PLC technology, the communications
network resides entirely within the electrical grid, so
while its deployment and operation are not trivial,
the network remains within the core competency
and mission of every utility. The basic know-how
necessary to handle, parameterize and optimize the

PLC network infrastructure

already is well-understood.
In addition, E.ON
has found that using
PLC avoids the cost
and complexity of
deploying a parallel wireless network
infrastructure when
its grid already reaches
every commercial and
With a wireless AMI, a
utility would be required
to take on the cost and
burden of developing additional, sufficient competency for managing this dedicated, parallel and
unfamiliar communications technology. This ability
to leverage the existing electrical grid infrastructure
was the critical reason E.ON chose PLC.
E.ON, however, conducted its own tests to
understand the real-world capabilities and potential
limitations of PLC technology. The performance of
the PLC communications was tested by transferring
load profiles with the data transfer initiated by the
data concentrator (DC) during a fixed, parameterized
time interval. This test was designed to mimic the
meter-reading in the production network, which is
performed in a batch mode beginning at midnight.
Based on these results, E.ON concluded that
narrowband PLC technology can accommodate an
installation of hundreds of smart meters connected to a
single data concentrator and successfully transmit load
profiles at a 15-minute interval. It also concluded that
narrowband PLC communications afforded sufficient
performance to support near-real-time smart grid
applications. A response time consistently less than

44 | May 2011

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Go to http://uae.hotims.com for more information.


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3 seconds, even in the worst-case scenario, ensures

that the utility should encounter no limitations
with any of its planned distribution automation
The tests also demonstrated the PLC networks
ability to handle communications with the meters
sequentially. As expected, the time to reach the
last meter depends on the number of meters in
the sequence, and this depends on the number of
meters per data concentrator. This is important
because transformers in Europe routinely serve more
customers than in the U.S.
In addition, E.ON wanted to assess two other grid
infrastructure considerations: the optimal distance
and number of hops between meters. The findings
revealed that one data concentrator per transformer
should work in almost any situation, and that such
a configuration protects against potential problems.
Another PLC limitation is the maximum



number of load profile channels PLC network

can accommodate. E.ONs test case employed all
six load profile (LP) channels for all 551 meters
connected to a single data concentrator, and the
results demonstrated that the system could handle
this maximum load. Nevertheless, few utilities
monitor all six LP channels, and some smart meters
do not support all six measurements (active energy
forward and backward; reactive energy import and
export; power forward and backward).
Envisioning its AMI network as someday playing
a broader, more strategic role, E.ON has laid the
groundwork for its future smart grid initiatives. Its
presence throughout the distribution portion of
E.ONs infrastructure makes the PLC network ideal for
supporting many other distribution applications.
Larry Colton is NES marketing manager at Echelon. E.ON chose
Echelon for its NES and PLC systems.

Cables Are so Brilliant Theyre Boring

PGI: What are you most interested in?

Sutton: Im currently on a CIGRE working group
looking at polymer nano-composites and the possible
application of these interesting materials to the power
sector. The group has carried out a review of what
is state-of-the-art in this field and some round-robin
testing of nano-filled silicones, epoxies and cross-linked
polyethylene has occurred.
In addition, Im looking forward to using my
background and experience in the industry to work
with the other members of the SAG to establish working
groups that will benefit utilities globally.
PGI: You spent 11 years with National Grid in
the U.K. Does that experience help you in your
role at Dow?
Sutton: I held a number of positions in my years
at National Grid, and it gave me a good grounding in
the way that a utility thinks and operates. I also had
the chance to participate in international working
groups and research collaborations, which meant
I got to meet utility engineers from Europe and

beyond. This gave me the opportunity to understand

what business and technical factors were driving
their utilities. All of these insights help me today
work closely with the utilities of Europe.
PGI: If you could impart one piece of advice about
cables and insulating materials to the power utility
industry, what would it be?
Sutton: Id like to choose two pieces of advice.
For cables, Id say demand cables that surpass
standards, not cables that just meet standards.
Material selection is such an important factor in
achieving this. For insulating materials, in general,
Id say dont forget about them. The power industry
relies on their performance every day and yet we so
often take their performance for granted.
Simon Sutton joined Dow in 2007 after having spent 11
years with National Grid. He has a bachelors degree in physics
with subsidiary mathematics and a doctorate in physical
properties of polymers, both from the University of Reading
(U.K). He was appointed to the CIGRE Strategic Advisory
Group (SAG) for solid insulating materials in March.

46 | May 2011

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Hedging Utility Customer

Service against Disaster

urrent technology allows

bad news to travel faster
than ever before. If a companys
actions upset a customer, that customer can blog, Tweet, Facebook
or use one of the hundreds of
different social media channels
to convey his frustration to thousands of contacts. Organizations
are fully accountable for their
actions and the services they provide, putting more pressure on
companies to get it right the first
timeespecially when it comes
to customer service. This can
overwhelm utilities.
Many predict that climate
change will impact customer service in coming years as extreme
weather events occur more frequently and, in many cases, with
greater intensity.
British advisory firm Maplecroft
released its 2010 Natural
Disaster Index, which said a
natural disaster will likely hit
229 countries. The Index ranked
the U.S. as high risk. Disasters

increased scale and scope affects

wider swaths of people (including employees) for longer periods of time. Interdependencies in
business relationships and supply
chains also have increased, meaning disasters can do a lot more
damage to businesses than before.
In addition to more frequent
natural disasters, new initiatives
focused on smart grid, demand
response and energy efficiency are
transforming the terrain for many
utilities. Consumers are interacting more with their utility. With
the potential for daily engagement, consumers are learning to
understand new smart tools for
energy management and their
resulting utility bill. To educate
consumers on the changes ahead,
utilities must transform customers experiences and gain their
Contact centers, which now

encompass all forms of communications including phone,

emails, online chat and social
media support like Twitter, play
an important role as the lifeline to
customers. Contact centers have
become mission critical to managing corporate brand and reputation. What happens, however,
if something goes wrong? What
happens to customer service if
the contact center goes down
whether from natural disaster,
infrastructure disaster (like power
loss) or people-initiated disaster
(intentional or not)?
As a provider of an essential
service, utilities are not strangers to disaster readiness. Disaster
recovery and business continuity
plans are central to the utility
business and include:
Storm planshow to restore
the electrical distribution system after a severe storm;
System restoration plans
how to recover from a blackout of the electrical system;
May 2011 | 47


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Telecommunication plans
how to restore communications during interruption; and
Data processing planshow
to migrate to backup sites to
run critical applications.
These plans focus on physical
infrastructure and systems, not
customer service. A white paper
released in 2010 by IDC Energy
Insights and sponsored by TELUS
supports this view. IDC Insights
surveyed 60 North American
utilities that are preparing for the
smart grid customer experience.
IDC Insights asked business and
IT respondents to rate their top
three business challenges.
The study revealed that customer service/engagement and
change management accounted
for less than 50 percent of IT
challenges and less than 20 percent of business challenges (see
Figure 1). This indicates that customer service and planning has
traditionally not been a high priority for utilitiesalthough this is
If a utility relies on a
single contact center, or
even several centers in the
same part of the world, it
can lose its entire ability to


Implementation of smart meters,

incorporation of renewables
Customer service/engagement, education
of customer, customer privacy

Change management

Costs, cost recovery, price pressure

Other (economy, security, emissions,

growth, M&A, reliability)
Workforce resources, changing workforce

IT Respondents






Source: IDC Energy Insights, TELUS-sponsored white paper: Smart Grid Customer Experience, 2010

communicate with customers

when disaster hits. Geographic
diversity becomes important and
utilities need facilities on different
power grids, water sources,
telecommunications networks
and even transportation systems.

Growing customer service
demands and the potential for
single-sourced areas (customer
care and power delivery in the
same state) to be impacted by

disasters can make a customer

service provider valuable as a
home operations base. These home
operations bases allow customers
to get in touch with their utility
and relay critical information if a
natural disaster strikes.
Many firms find that partnering
with a specialized contact center firm is effective for ensuring
always-on customer service during a disaster. Business process
outsourcing (BPO) contact center
firms have expertise, economies
of scale, geographic diversity and
redundant call center technology to keep business going. They
place a high value on ensuring
that service will be there if disaster strikes and, like utilities, many
are risk adverse.
Good contact center providers
have rigorous business continuity

48 | May 2011

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and disaster recovery plans in place,

often covering events and scenarios
not always considered or tested by
many organizations. BPO providers
also have a wealth of information
on staffing for unusual situations,
testing and implementing a
recovery plan quickly.

outsourcing, but they are limited

by state employment regulations
or other PUC challenges;
therefore, some are looking
for alternative solutions. One
solution is the collective, or
shared agent, contact center. The
collective contact center engages


Q. What do you view as the key benefits of contact center outsourcing?

Reduce the risk of
Increase efficiency
by consolidating
and centralizing

Cost advantage

Level out cyclical

or seasonal
investment in
fixed infrastructure

Get access to
specialized skills

Minimize capital

Improved customer

Source: IDC Energy Insights, TELUS-sponsored white paper: Smart Grid Customer Experience, 2010

Utilities recognize many benefits

of partnering with a contact center
expert (see Figure 2). According
to the white paper, almost half of
utilities outsourcing concerns are
related to offshoring, rather than
outsourcing. Forward-looking
utilities realize its important to
select the right partner and use a
best shore approach (onshore,
near-shore, offshore)putting
resources into the correct strategy.
Many utilities are looking
for help with contact center

a pool of utilities committed to

purchasing a minimum number
of contact seats. All seats would
be dedicated to providing contact
center solutions for particular
utilities and would be trained to
handle general utility industry
issue management. During
regular days, the program could
be used to handle overflow,
provide additional email support
and help introduce new platforms
like online chat and social media
customer service. In the event a
disaster afflicts a particular utility,
the collective would pool agents
to provide ongoing customer


support for the disaster victim

during the remainder of the crisis.
Tier 1 support allows messages
to be taken for routine inquiries.
Tier 2 support deals with a crisis
that affects the utility operations
including downed power lines or
gas leaks. Agents can quickly and
efficiently communicate back to
the utility, informing the company of the various elements affecting their service area and relaying
messages to households affected
by the disaster. This would create an ongoing information loop,
ensuring no one is cut off.
Many business interruptions
go unreported, and therefore the
negative impact on customer service is hard to measure. Research
from leading analysts suggests that
organizations could lose between
$84,000 and $108,000 for every
hour an IT system is down. This
loss can be averted with a business
continuity plan that takes the geographical location of customer service into account. Reliance on third
parties for mission critical services
that impact processes, lives and bottom line is a viable option.
The need to be prepared for every
eventuality has become fundamental at a time when customer expectations for availability and quality
of service are increasing. In a world
facing increased weather extremes,
utilities need a solid customer service plan when Mother Nature
chooses not to cooperate.
Douglas Hartman is executive director,
energy solutions at TELUS International, a
provider of BPO and contact center solutions
to global clients.

May 2011 | 49


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Coordinating the Smart Grids

New Phase of Global Implementation

he global smart grid movement

has entered a third phase of
development. The past few years the
world has leapt toward a next-generation, demand-responsive facility
for power generation and distribution that reduces carbon footprint
and long-term costs alike.
First came a phase of planning
and commitments that defined the
market-by-market goals that stand
to be achieved with smart grid.
A second phase focused on
assessing requirements: How do we
get there from heretechnologically, economically and politically?
Todays third phase is about
implementation. Utilities seek

to expand deployments that

enhance end-to-end service reliability and deliver long-term cost
efficiencies; manufacturers are
eager to capitalize on demand
for widely interoperable products
and services; and governments
want their constituencies to realize the smart grids quality-oflife, environmental and economic
benefits. This has cast pressure
on the smart grids global, layered
standards-development community to deliver.
The smart grid, however, demands
that standards-development organizations (SDOs) strike a challenging
balance. There are market-specific

safety and environmental regulations and public-policy priorities to

be respected. And there is the need
for globally applicable, architecturelevel guidelines if industry is to
accelerate products, services and
deployment. To ensure both sets
of requirements are satisfiedand
that this third stage of smart grid
development does not splinter into
chaos and stalla logical, efficient
coordination must gather across the
international SDO community.
Common themes exist in the
global smart grid storyempowering consumers to manage their

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usage intelligently, enabling bidirectional flow of power and

communications, more tightly
linking power generation and
demand and expanding reliance
on renewable energy sources
among them. But the drive to
modernize electricity grids worldwide also is marked by differences in drivers, priorities and
Consider the diversity of technology drivers in Asia, for example.
Ultra-high-voltage transmission is
among the primary technological
concerns in China, where power
from generation facilities along
the Yangtze River must get to
the countrys most remote areas.
Photovoltaics and energy storage
are viewed as the key technologies
for improving the grid in Japan.
In Korea, nuclear energy has been
identified as a valuable opportunity
to offset dependence on fossil fuels.
In northern Africa, meanwhile,
one of the critical points of emphasis has been energy transport and
interconnection with an international grid, as nations there hope to
leverage the desert terrain for solar
and wind generation and sell their
power to other countries.
Projected timelines also differ
region to region. The European
Union (EU) has established
20/20/20 targets to be hit by 2020:
a reduction in EU greenhouse gas
emissions by 20 percent, EU energy consumption from renewable
resources to reach 20 percent and a
20 percent boost in energy efficiency.
And in the United States, President
Barack Obama in his January State
of the Union challenged the nation


to derive 80 percent of its electricity

from clean energy sources by 2035.
With different areas developing
their respective smart grid strategies,
standards development is intensifying at the intersection of technology
and public policy.
In the U.S., the Energy
Independence and Security Act of
2007 tasked the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST)
to create a framework of smart
grid interoperability standards.
The American Reinvestment and
Recovery Act funded it. Similarly, in
March the European Commission
Directorate-general for Energy issued
a mandate intended to develop or
update a set of consistent standards
that will achieve interoperability and will enable or facilitate the
implementation in Europe of the
different high-level smart grid services and functionalities.
Its a myriad of activities that, for
industry, begs: How does it all work
together? How can the smart grids
global string of imperatives be distilled down to a coherent, workable
map by which a company can move
forward wisely?

How might a utility efficiently

interface with a mult-vendor
array of distributed-generation technologies such as
solar panels or windmills
deployed across its base of
consumer and enterprise customers?
How could the smart grid
accurately handle billing data
in a scenario in which a plugin electric vehicle (PEV) is
manufactured in one utility jurisdiction, purchased in
another and driven to and
re-charged in others still?
How can utilities whose business models are on long-term
structures of capital investment confidently adopt technologies today given that the
smart grid integrates industries with significantly shorter cycles of innovation and
How can appliances leverage
intelligence and grid communications to support efficient
and balanced utilization and
ensure plug-and-play capabilities in the future?

Competition will and should
exist within the global standards
community, but coordination is
also important, particulary in the
current smart grid development
The smart grid demands a huge
array of standards across power
generation, transmission, distribution, load serving, communications and information technology
(IT) services and end use:

These types of questions are

being taken up in the worlds
SDOs, and the effort figures to
yield a multitude of standardsr
during the next several years.
That should be good news to
the global smart grid movement.
Standards duplication, a lack of
interoperability, or both, however,
would hinder industry efficiency
and effectiveness and slow rollout. In contrast, a coordinated

May 2011 | 51


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Extending the reach of the Smart Grid

he Smart Grid can only operate smartly when all

and accurate billing. All of these initiatives support

layers of the grid generation, transmission, and

the implementation of demand planning programs

distribution - are interconnected. This requires flexible

and time-of-use billing options, all while reducing

and robust communications networks, available every-

the costs of deploying service crews and vehicles to

where within a utilitys service area.

manually do the job.

Utilities have spent millions in recent decades rolling

For more than 30 years, Inmarsat has been a trusted

out technology designed to give them remote access

provider of global satellite communications services for

to sensors and other devices that manage and control

organisations operating in the most remote locations.

the flow of electric power; systems based on real-time

As well as serving a range of industrial sectors includ-

demand generated by customer usage data captured

ing oil and gas, mining and media it works extensively

at the meter. Access to this data allows operators to

with the US government and other civil and military

achieve greater operating efficiency, reducing costs and

organizations around the world. Inmarsats reputation

lowering carbon emissions.

is founded on a long-standing record of 99.99% satellite

The advent of 3G networks has made the collection

and ground network availability and consistent perfor-

and wireless delivery of data possible. But what about

mance in extreme conditions, including heavy precipita-

the 5-10% of meters and other devices that sit outside

tion and sub-zero temperatures.

the umbrella of 3G coverage? In these cases, utilities

Inmarsat offers the industrys broadest portfolio of

are forced to send out service trucks to manually collect

satellite communications: from reliable, high-quality

what they need. This is expensive, costing time and

voice telephony to data communications that support

manpower, and reduces efficiency. It also prevents the

a variety of needs. The companys existing Broadband

operator from having visibility of operations across the

Global Area Network (BGAN) service provides IP data

grid. Satellite communications close that gap.

connectivity of up to 0.5Mbps via rugged laptop-sized

Satellite communications were once seen as cum-

terminals. As well as providing support for mobile work-

bersome and expensive to use. Today, companies like

forces, one flagship US electric utility is using BGAN to

Inmarsat are delivering broadband data speeds and

achieve 100% AMI coverage, extending its network to

machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity using terminal

areas that cannot be connected through existing ter-

equipment small enough to be mounted on any utility

restrial technologies.

pole. Airtime rates are comparable to data roaming

To support low data rate requirements, Inmarsat

charges with a typical 3G operator, and almost always

will shortly be launching a new solution to provide an

less costly and more efficient than the manual alter-

IP data-only service for low-volume, high-frequency

native. The ubiquitous, always-on nature of satellite

transmissions of the type needed to support regular

communications makes it the perfect option for utilities

automated data reporting from Smart Grid applications.

seeking to overcome terrestrial coverage deficits.

Satellite solutions can provide the most cost-effective

The benefits that utilities can enjoy when extending

communications solution in a number of key Smart

the reach of their network include better visibility of

Grid areas, including substation connectivity, distribu-

their end-to-end operations, more efficient

tion automation, AMI backhaul, mobile workforce and

management of their infrastruc-

disaster recovery.

ture, and improved cus-

Satellite networking technology will play a critical

tomer services

role in Smart Grid efforts for the utilities sector.

With its own secure global network, and its latestgeneration satellite constellation operational and
providing an assured service to 2023 and beyond,
Inmarsat is well placed to support the sectors
emerging communications requirements.

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Selling Energy Efficiency in the Industrial Sector


uring the past few years,

the number of new
utility and state-run energy
efficiency promotion programs
has increased significantly, and
existing ones have grown rapidly.
Ratepayer-funded program
budgets have tripled from $900
million in 1998 to $3.1 billion in
2008, according to the American
Council for an Energy-Efficient
Economy (ACEEE), and the
ACEEE expects the funding to
double again by 2020. With
this commitment from states
and utilities, it is important that
programs use these funds most
cost-effectively to delay the need
for new power plants and to
enhance the health of the end-use
businesses. To ensure effective use
of funds, utilities must maximize
the programs ability to sell energy
efficiency to the industrial sector,
which, in many states, uses a large
portion of the energy produced.

the commercial market, including

office buildings and retail
establishments. These programs
use cash incentives or rebates
for standard measures within
the most common commercial

Typically efficiency promotion
programs target two markets:
residential and business. The
residential programs usually use
most of their funds on promoting
mass market efficiency measures
related to lighting and appliances.
The business programs tend to
focus the most of their funds on

energy end uses, such as lighting

and heating, ventilation and air
conditioning (HVAC). Figure 1
shows the percent energy use of
major end uses in commercial
buildings. Figure 2 rolls up the
end uses related to HVAC and
lighting to show that 71 percent
of energy used in commercial
building is in lighting and HVAC.

For commercial buildings, it is an

effective program strategy to focus
incentives for lighting and HVAC
But focusing on the key commercial end uses leaves much


569 Trillion Btu 9%
Office Equipment
69 trillion Btu 1%
156 trillion Btu 2%

Space Heating
2,365 trillion Btu 36%

190 trillion Btu 3%
381 trillion Btu 6%
Water Heating
501 trillion Btu 8%
436 trillion Btu 7%
516 trillion Btu 8%
1,340 trillion Btu 20%

Percentage of energy use for commercial facilities (EIA)

of the energy used in the industrial market greatly untouched.

Lighting and HVAC account for
about 10 percent of the energy
used in the industrial market (see
Figure 3). On average, 62 percent
of the industrial facilities energy
use is used for their core processes. Depending on how much
boiler energy is used for process

54 | May 2011

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501 Trillion Btu 29%

HVAC & Lighting

2,365 trillion Btu 71%

Percentage of energy use in HVAC & Lighting for commercial facilities (EIA)

heating, even more energy can be

attributed to the core processes.
To impact this process energy use,
energy efficiency program managers must build program offerings
that relate to efficiencies found in
the specific industrial processes.
About 65 percent of the process
electric energy use is consumed
by process motors, with 15
percent consumed in process
heating and another 25 percent
in electrochemical process or
process cooling. Within these
general process end uses of
energy, there are thousands of
specific processes, technologies
and systems. This diversity of
technologies has provided a great
challenge in promoting energy
efficiency in this sector. Another
challenge is the wider diversity of
business approaches within the
different types of manufacturing.
Because of these challenges,
efficiency programs have focused
on offerings for the simpler

commercial markets.
Until now, these simpler,
mainly commercial programs
have worked well to reach
utilities energy-savings goals.
But with much of these simpler
measures already harvested by
past programs, it is becoming
more challenging to reach these
goals. When new building
code changes and the required
elimination of T12 lamps are
added, the challenge to reach
goals will become more difficult.
These and other market forces
will force program managers to
provide greater impact within the
large energy use of the industrial
sector. The industrial sector uses
about three times the amount of
energy as the commercial building
sector on average, according
to the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA). What is the
best program strategy to impact
this large industrial energy use?
Energy efficiency programs


are starting to address more

industrial processes. Many
potential opportunities exist, and
program managers are finding that
they can impact these industrial
energy-saving projects with less
program costs than those for
commercial projects. It starts with
a greater understanding of the
industrial technologies and the
business case needed within each
type of industrial submarket. As
with any good sales approach,
this in-depth understanding is
critical to selling energy efficiency
to industrial customers.
The first step in tackling the
industrial market opportunity is
to segment the market within the
territory the program covers and
understand what similarities exist
within clusters of similar types of
manufacturing businesses. This
understanding eventually should
include a strong expertise with
the technologies and equipment
used and an awareness of the
overall business decisions that
the plant manager must consider
The second step in addressing
industrial energy efficiency
opportunities is to hire or
contract with people who have
this in-depth understanding of
a major cluster industry. Many
times these people will have
worked many years in the cluster
industry and, ideally, in decisionMay 2011 | 55


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making management positions.

These cluster experts can
provide technical and business
depth and usually a network
connection within the cluster.
They also can help cement the
next step, which is to reach out
and partner with the cluster
associations that serve the
members of the cluster. Take a
paper industry example. It is
important to link with the local
Technical Association of the
Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI)
chapter. Another example is
the Midwest Food Processing
Association. These associations
can provide invaluable market
outreach to bring greater
awareness of the program offerings
to their members. It is especially
helpful to integrate the program
trainings with association events.
A solid partnership with these
types of associations is critical
in building program credibility
with manufacturing companies.
It also is important to leverage
the industrial programs offered by
the Department of Energy (DOE),
such as the Save Energy Now
leader program.
Next, build a team of sales
engineers who will develop
strong relationships with larger
industrial customers. These sales
engineers can be utility account
executives or they can work in
parallel with the utility account
executives. Whoever serves in this
role must provide the credibility
needed to provide value to
customers. This credibility and
value usually require many years

of experience working with and

in the industrial sector on energy
projects. If the sales engineers
do not bring credible value to
customers, they will have little
impact on moving customers
forward with energy efficiency
projects for their industrial
process. Customers have many
competing priorities, and many
times the energy cost to an


The final step in having a strong

impact on the industrial sector
is to find and develop program
offerings that target opportunities
in the processes of each cluster.
Many times these opportunities
are emerging technologies that
customers might not understood
fully. Programs must provide
partial funding for an expert
site study so customers can



Other Non-process
150 trillion Btu 2%

HVAC & Lighting

668 trillion Btu 10%

Indirect Uses (Boiler Fuel)

2,117 trillion Btu 26%

Direct Uses (Total Process)

5,085 trillion Btu 62%

Percentage of end uses for industrial facilities (EIA)

industrial customer is much lower

than other costs. For example, in
the food-processing industry, the
energy cost is typically between
2 and 5 percent of overall costs.
Program representative must be
effective in selling the value of
energy efficiency. Besides technical
expertise, a representative can
assist customers set up an energy
team and establish a continual
improvement program to add
further value.

understand how the opportunity

will impact their sites. DOE
Energy Saving Assessments
can provide this expertise for
Another approach is to connect with the vendors providing
these emerging technologies to
develop standard incentives for
cluster-specific process measures.
This allows vendors to sell the
process technology more easily to
customers, provides more value to

56 | May 2011

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The Smart Grids Singular Security Challenge


he cybersecurity posture
required in traditional enterprise business systems does not
differ substantially from vertical
market to vertical market. Why,
then, does it have to be different
for electric utilities in the smart
grid age?
The answer to that question is
already understood to be multifaceted, and additional aspects likely
will reveal themselves during the
next decades of smart grid deployment.
The big difference between the
cybersecurity demands associated
with the smart grid and those of
other communication and information networks is that a smart
grid security breach sometimes
could lead to unsafe situations in
which things could blow up and
people could get hurt.
If a substation is configured
wrongly as a result of erroneous
information being shared, things
could go wrong. The safety of

utility personnel and nearby

inhabitants is at stake, and the
reliability and stability of the entire
power grid could be jeopardized.
Even when compromised, typical
information technology (IT)
systems do not put safety and
whole economies directly at risk.
Notable exceptions include health
care and financial infrastructure.
In the emerging smart grid,
accommodations must be made
for the direct safety impact and
mission-critical nature of the
end devices to be connected.
Residential connections powering
medical life support systems need
to have the same security and reliability criticality as a typical hospital utility connection.
technology (IT) restoration
measures like rebooting a
component are usually not
acceptable for the power system.
In most cases, power operation
systems cannot be easily restarted
without adversely affecting power
generation or delivery, thereby

compromising high availability,

reliability and maintainability
In the smart grid, we are overlaying a communications and
information network on top of a
power grid system in which intelligence is an evolving attribute.
Industrial control system applications for power generation, transmission and distribution are being
integrated with the utilitys IT systems for corporate and business
networking. Such integration in
its own right demands a different
cybersecurity posture.
In the smart grid, cybersecurity,
grid reliability and grid stability
can be intertwined in multiple
waysnot all immediately
apparent. Sometimes reliability
problems like power equipment
failures or severe weather can
cause adverse stability events,
and all stability problems can
jeopardize system reliability.

58 | May 2011

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Some security breaches can harm

the reliability and stability of the
power system, and the detection
of an intrusion can be delayed
if it mimics a conventional
reliability or stability problem.
The relationship among the three
attributes is circular; improving
one enhances the other two.
As an example, a unified security analysis can offer opportunities to information security
implementations by leveraging
solutions that the power system
operations have been using for
decades to manage the reliability
of the power grid. Existing monitoring and response methods and
technologies deployed to protect
against inadvertent security problems, such as equipment failures,
operational errors and natural
disasters can now be extended
to include deliberate cyber attacks
and security compromises resulting from the emerging convergence of business IT and power
system operation technologies.
Reliability and security analytics
along with decision intelligence
distributed across the grid are
expected to analyze such events,
predict correlated consequences
and provide intelligent, systematic and coordinated responses on
a real-time basis. Consequently,
security of the smart grid will be
best addressed as part of an integrated, end-to-end approach that
also takes into account reliability
and stability.
Hence, the security solution for
the smart grid cannot assume a

flat, static posture. Security is not

an end stateit must continuously adapt to events across integrated domains.
Not only are the stakes higher
in securing the smart grid, the
fundamentals of the job are different, too. Historically, in industrial
control systems, critical information exchanges have always
been through dedicated, pointto-point network infrastructure
based on proprietary technologies and obscure interfaces. The
system did not have touch points
with other traffic in the business sphere of operations. Such
isolation and obscurity provided
inherent security. In the smart
grid, a utilitys industrial control
systems will be integrated with
the rest of the corporate network
and business systems, incorporating off-the-shelf components
along with their vulnerabilities.
The cybersecurity needs of the
different pieces are only similar
not identical.
With a typical IT system, the
three major security objectives
that must be satisfied, in order of
priority, are:
Confidentiality: Is the user
authorized to access the data?
Integrity: Is the data in question the same data as the
original, or has it been modified without authorization?
Availability: When information is needed, will timely and


authorized access be denied?

In contrast, in electric utility
industrial control systems, integrity and availability are of greater
urgency than risks of confidentiality. Denial of service is the
paramount security risk with the
power grid, where timely and
authorized access to accurate
information is imperative.
So, adaptability is key in the
solution because it must dynamically safeguard both domains. If
dealing with business domain
data/applications, the priority is
confidentiality; if dealing with the
industrial control system data/
applications, availability and
integrity take precedence. And
closer analysis shows that one
impacts the other. The security
solution must understand how
an event in the business domain
(such as a utility employee leaving a job under unpleasant circumstances) could impact the
threat profileand respond intelligently.
Finally, the security solutions
need to be adaptive to the time
latency associated with information
availability in the power system control network, which can vary from
milliseconds (currently less than 4
milliseconds for protective relaying)
through days or even weeks for
collecting long-term data such as
power quality information. Business
IT systems, in contrast, are more
concerned about high throughput,
and they can typically withstand
some level of delay and jitter (delay
May 2011 | 59


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The need for cybersecurity
adaptability is driven by differences in resources across the smart
grid, as well.
IT applications typically run
on desktop computers, servers,
third-party data centers or smart
phones. The compute power
of these devices is tremendous;
most often bandwidth availability
being quite high, as well. Certain
security solutionssay, ones that
apply a strong level of encryption
between information sources so
data cannot be deciphered if interceptedare predicated on that
resource availability.
Now, imagine if we have to
secure all of the small information
devices that are exchanging data
among themselves in the smart
grid. The transformers, breakers,
relays, switches and other substation devices have intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) talking with
one another, as well as with the
substation or area control centers.
The compute power of the devices
and available bandwidth for interconnecting them are relatively low.
Utilities cannot afford to oversecure the smart gridapplying the same, most sophisticated
security services blindly to every
piece of data and application endto-end across the network. The
same security solution for a bandwidth-intensive environment will
not work for devices with very
small compute power and lowbandwidth connections. One size
does not fit all. This means that

the smart grid security solution

must be adaptive, too, to resource
availability. Similarly, differences
in IT and power/process engineering practices will require adaptive
security procedures.
These ideas point to an area
where additional smart grid standards will be needed. Standards
to address an adaptive encryption requirement, for example, will
need maturity and wider adoption
to address such rightsizing of security measures. While the smart
grid might not demand specifically
a new, purpose-built encryption
capability, virus-scan software,
certification procedure, etc., it certainly requires a logical plan of
how to integrate security components into an adaptive system that
can look at the multiple layers of
data and applications end-to-end
and tap capabilities appropriately.
Smart grid security will not be a
static, one-off effort where a solution is designed, implemented by
utilities and finished. It will be
an ongoing challenge that reveals
itself continuouslya dark highway illuminated by headlights on
a long, twisting, turning drive.
Smart grid demonstration projects
in the United States and other
deployments globally are likely to
yield important data on aspects of
the security challenge, but more
and wider-scale studies, simulations and modeling would be valuable. For example, the cybersecurity industry is likely to learn
from ongoing projects more about
the confidentiality implications
of a demand-response system, in


which the utility provides information about pricing and a users

devices respond automatically.
What such projects are unlikely
to provide, however, is a look into
the critical availability question:
How can the smart grid guard
itself against a massive denial-ofservice attack on such a demandresponse system? How could a
security breach emulate an equipment failure, and what would
be its ramifications? How can
the smart grids control structures
be designed and implemented to
prevent emergent instabilities that
have hit other systems like the
stock market flash crash?
Certainly, these and other questions warrant more research. With
higher stakes and greater requirements for adaptability in risk
assessment and control, the cybersecurity challenge presented by the
smart grid is singularly new.
In addition to leading the
Information Security Work Group
of the IEEE P2030 Working
Group, Partha Datta Ray is president and chief technology officer
at Albeado Inc.

60 | May 2011

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Coordinating the Smart Grids New Phase of Global Implementation

standards-development effort, in
which SDOs create relationships
with complementary SDOs, will
result in larger-scale production
and deployment of interoperable
products and services and accelerated smart grid implementations around the globe.
There are instances of this occurring. The IEEE P2030 Working
Group, for example, is creating
an architectural-level, system-ofsystems guide to the interfaces on
which the smart grid will depend.
In many cases, suitable interface
standards already exist; in others,
gaps are being identified that eventually must be filled by IEEE, other
SDOs serving the range of industries integrated within the smart
grids sphere, or both. IEEE P2030 is
inviting review and comment from
IEEE members and non-member
expertise to help strengthen consensus around the Draft Guide


for Smart Grid Interoperability of

Energy Technology and Information
Technology Operation With the
Electric Power System (EPS), and
End-Use Applications and Load,
as the document advances toward
planned ratification as a standard
in 2011.
It is also through standardsdevelopment activities that realworld smart grid knowledge and
expertise can be shared across
geographies and disciplines.
Through the IEEE P2030.3
Working Groupchaired by a
senior engineer from the China
Electric Power Research Institute
(CEPRI) of State Grid Corp. of
China (SGCC)intelligence on
test procedures for verifying conformance of storage equipment
and systems to interconnection
standards is being shared dynamically among manufacturers and
utilities on multiple continents.

The SDOs potential as global

technology-transfer mechanism is
critical for the groundbreaking
work entailed in the smart grid.
The smart grid is poised for a
phase of accelerated implementation around the worldbut
only if SDOs work more closely
with one another to provide a
coherent road map of how to
move forward. They also must
work closely with governments to
ensure that market-specific policy
and economic goals are met. Its a
delicate balance to be struck, but
examples of success already exist.
With a spirit of logical, efficient
coordination, the global community of SDOs can help bring
about the smart grids revolutionary benefits more quickly.
W. Charlton Chuck Adams J,.
is past president of the IEEE Standards

Selling Energy Efficiency in the Industrial Sector

customers and improves a programs

ability to target cost-effective industrial opportunities. Supporting these
emerging technologies provides a
way for the program to increase its
impact or attribution on the program energy savings.
With such a large amount of
energy used by industry in industrial
processes and with the opportunities
for low-hanging fruit dwindling in

the commercial markets, the time

is right to enhance program efforts
within the industrial sector. Energy
efficiency program managers across
the country have implemented
aggressive programs in this market.
And with the growing funding and
expectations of energy efficiency
promotion, including supporting
job growth, there has not been
a better time to maximize the

sales of energy efficiency in the

industrial sector.
John Nicol is an energy program director for
SAIC Energy, Environment and Infrastructure
LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIC. He
has more than 25 years experience in energy
engineering and program management and is
a nationally respected program manager who
works closely with the DOE, EPA, ACEEE, and
CEE. Nicol also has conducted more than
300 energy analyses of industrial facilities
and projects.

May 2011 | 61


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Energy Control Product

Automatic Voltage Regulators

Milbank, an industry leader in meter mounting

Staco Energy Products introduces its latest addition

equipment and enclosures, wind turbines and diesel

to their line of automatic voltage regulators (AVR) for

generator sets for the U.S. market and Sentec,

the power conditioning in demanding applications.

the smart grid experts, have a new energy control

Based on a series regulation transformer controlled

product, the integrated automatic transfer switch

by variable transformers (VTs), these robust units offer

(I-ATS). The I-ATS is an integrated metrology, control,

tight output regulation and are easily customizable.

communications and protection solution that can

The basic AVR will handle more than 90 percent of

manage electrical sources (e.g. wind turbines, solar

typical power problemshandling all but the most

PV, generator sets), storage solutions (e.g. battery

extreme voltage swings. Options such as suppression

storage, EVs) and loads (e.g. air conditioners, water

of high voltage transients, high harmonic content or

heaters) at up to 200A per channel so that they work

site load balance can be added, providing site-

together. The system behaviour is controlled and

specific power correction in a one-box solution. All

reported through a custom user interface that is

Staco AVR units feature extremely high overload/

platform independent. The I-ATS provides a solution

inrush ratings. Gold plated contacts on all coils and

to the increasing number of problems seen when

nickel plated copper bus bars are standard. They

multiple devices that do not work together are

are robust and durable enough to withstand the

put into a single installation. It is also capable of

constant vibration of mobile applications. Individual

interfacing with the most common smart meter

coil protection means these proven units avoid

communications link (Zigbee SEP1.1).

catastrophic cascade failures which are common

Milbank and Sentec

with other topologies.

GO TO _____________

Staco Energy Products

GO TO _____________

Power Distribution Substation




Touch Screen Thermostat

30KVA-480-220-110 heavy duty power

Venstar, a leading thermostat

distribution substation converts single

and energy management systems

phase or three phase 480 VAC electri-

supplier, announced the launch

cal current to single phase 120V AC




and 240V AC and provides GFCI and

a multi-functional, simple-to-use, touch screen

integral breaker protection on both input and line

thermostat designed for commercial installations.

outs. This power substation provides an effective

With ColorTouch Commercial, users can display their

and safe current supply for operating equipment

business logos, advertisements or promotions on

and lighting in areas where connection to native

their thermostat screens as a slideshow screensaver

power is unavailable or not desired. This unit can be

or background wallpaper. ColorTouch Commercial

used to tap into 480 VAC from a variety of sources

also includes a 365-day holiday programmer,

including generators and direct grid power, which

automatically updatable firmware, and added

it then steps down to usable voltages, and includes

security for public display. ColorTouch Commercial is

a dedicated 480 volt feed through for connecting a

priced at approximately half the cost of competitive

welding station.

touch screen thermostats.




GO TO _____________

62 | May 2011

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DistribuTECH 2012: The industrys most comprehensive

conference on automation, smart grid and T&D
engineering. Jan. 24-26, 2012. San Antonio, Texas.
Phone 918.832.9265 http://distributech.com

16 19

ACLARA .................................................. C2


1421 S. Sheridan Road, Tulsa, OK 74112

P.O. Box 1260 : Tulsa, OK 74101
918.835.3161, fax 918.831.9834

ADVERTISER. ............................. PG#

NERC Transmission Operator Certication




Smart Grid Technology 2011

Smart Grid Update
San Jose, Calif.

ALCATEL-LUCENT ........................OUTSERT
ENERGY ASSOCIATION ........................25

Michael Grossman
918.831.9500 michaelg@pennwell.com

COMPUTAPOLE .....................................27

Daniel Greene
918.831.9401 danielg@pennwell.com

DATA COMM FOR BUSINESS...............13

DOW WIRE & CABLE ...............................5


Candice Doctor
918.831.9884 fax 918.831.9834

EL&P EXECUTIVE CONF. 2012 ..............57


Shawn Sejera
918.831.9731 fax 918.831.9834

HUBBELL POWER SYSTEMS .................31


Kathleen Wackowski
98 Spit Brook Road : Nashua, NH 03062
603.891.9129 fax 603.891.0514



Tom Leibrandt
918.831.9184 fax 918.831.9834 toml@pennwell.com

NEXANS ..................................................45


Adonis Mak
ACT International
Unit B, 13/F, Por Yen Building
478 Castle Peak Road, Cheung Sha Wan
Kowloon, Hong Kong
+ fax +852.2.838.2766


Sandy Norris
918.831.9115 fax 918.831.9834
Glenda Harp
918.832.9301 fax 918.831.9776

KEMAs 4th Annual Utility of

the Future Leadership Forum

ELSTER ................................................... C4

CIREDs 21st International Conf. and

Exhibition on Electricity Distribution
Frankfurt, Germany

HIPOTRONICS ........................................15
HYDROVISION INTL 2011 ...................33

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ITRON ........................................... 3, WRAP

12 15

N TRON ...................................................17

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Edison Electric Institute
Colorado Springs, Co.

NYNAS AB..........................................10-11


Introduction to the Texas ERCOT Electric

Power Market
PGS Energy Training


POWER ENGINEERS ................................9

ARCHIVED WEBCASTS..........................35

11 12

WEEKLY WRAP UP ..................................28


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Margola Ltd.
1/1 Rashi Street, Raanana 43214 Israel
phone/fax +972.9.899 5813

DISTRIBUTECH 2012 .............................21

S & C ELECTRIC COMPANY....................7




Molly Carlson
918-831-9454 mcarlson@pennwell.com

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SPRINT .................................................... C3

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HPC Technical Services
Sarasota, Fla.


24 29

SOUTHWIRE COMPANY ..................42-43

UTILITY PRODUCTS CONF. 2012..........39

IEEE PES General Meeting


May 2011 | 63


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Why the Energy Revolution Must be Localized

Much of the media focus on smart appliances
considers their performance as demand response
resources, either through dynamic response or
through demand response. There is a limited population of these appliances in the market, but many smart
grid technology companies have been considering the
impact of larger numbers particularly when placed
alongside electric vehicles (EVs), which from the grids
perspective behave like large, power-hungry appliances with built-in storage capacity.
Challenges exist. Many will be felt at the local network
level, and many in the industry expect this is where the
solutions to these challenges will be developed.
For example, demand response can do little to
help with localized hotspots. Localized grids can
experience stresses where many power-hungry appliances, including EVs, are clustered. Some are obvious; some more subtle.
Extra load: EVs, in particular, represent a huge
rise in the amount of power being drawn through
certain parts of the network. An EV is like another
house being added to the grid.
Clustering: This equipment will tend to be geographically concentrated, leading to problem hotspots.
Two-way flow: Existing low-voltage networks are
not engineered to cope with high levels of twoway flow, a problem exacerbated by clustering.
Invisible imbalances between phases on the
substation: When substations are first built, the
loads they serve are balanced between the phases.
Adding more homes, EVs and power-hungry
appliances in an unplanned fashion can stress one
phase and cause unexpected failures.
It is hard to estimate the degree of stress local grids are
under. They are robustly engineered, and there is some
debate about the level of market penetration necessary
for EVs or microgeneration to have a perceptible
impact. But smart appliances as currently configured
are not a likely solution. Appliances using dynamic or
demand response are responding to inputs from much

larger-scale systems: the overall grid frequency or the

tariff set for a large customer segment. This functionality
will do little to reduce the stress at the local level, which
might occur at a different time.
Occasionally it might create additional problems
because simple demand response has a tendency
to create a bow wave of demand where the peak
consumption that was shaved is simply shifted to
another moment in time. This might reduce pressure
on generating capacity for the whole grid but has
unpredictable effects at a neighborhood level. This
problem is exacerbated by a tendency for neighbors
to exhibit similar buying patterns. The implication of
this is that certain areas will see penetrations of EVs
or microgeneration well in advance of there being an
overall impact on the grid.
These issues suggest that demand response could be
adapted initially to ease pressure on grid hotspots, a
solution that would require some degree of monitoring at substation level. This is not a situation that can
be dealt with using smart meter data alone. Smart
meters cannot measure the phase effects, and the
meters cannot fully reconcile the two-way flows of
energy at a neighborhood level.
Using accurate monitoring at the substation level,
demand response could be adjusted for local network
conditionsup to and including appliances negotiating a re-entry slot for their restart with other appliancesto avoid the bow wave effect discussed.
Network topologiesnotably the difference
between 50Hz and 60HzSwill require different
architectures for such a scheme. Either way, ubiquitous monitoring of the local distribution grid has
value distinct from the monitoring enabled by smart
meters. By moving control downward to a local level,
it allows demand response, local generation and storage to be shoehorned into local networks when it is
needed and without costly upgrades.
Edward Colby is chief technical officer of Sentec, a smart grid specialist and
product development company. Find out more at http://sentec.co.uk.

64 | May 2011

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Intelligence. Operational efficiency and flexibility. Unprecedented control. These are the promises that over the past few
years have created so much visibility and anticipation around
the super-efficient generation and transmission initiative
known as the smart grid. These benefits are real, to be sure,
but the smart grid is more than just this alluring set of promises. It's an imperative for all energy stakeholders, and most
particularly, the global power industry.
Just consider the United Nations projection of the global population hitting eight billion by 2030. World energy demand is
expected to increase 40 percent during that period, especially
in developing countries led by China and India, with electricity
needs alone tracking at an astounding 70 percent growth rate,
according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Challenge and expectation

going to exert, says Ballout. Were then using our communications technology and data to mitigate these circumstances
and create an environment where consumers and suppliers
are getting what theyreexpecting.

Keeping promises
With those issues addressed, and utilizing a 99.999 percent
reliable IP/MPLS infrastructure and intelligent sensors
throughout the distribution layer and at consumer endpoints,

The best way for suppliers to find balance

with consumer expectations and other
imperatives is to push innovation deeper
into the distribution networks.

Power providers face many challenges today as they strive to

meet increasing demand while deferring additional fossil fuel
generation projects, says Kamal Ballout, Global Vice President
for Alcatel-Lucent Energy Solutions Integration Division.
These include making power delivery more efficient, upgrading aging infrastructure, meeting higher security expectations,
dealing with stricter regulations, and efficiently integrating
and managing renewable energy resources.
At the same time, notes Ballout, consumers have higher
expectations in terms of their desire for control and understanding of their energy usage, more reliability, power for
electric vehicles, a way to deliver greener energy, and other
concerns. This is the focus point for Alcatel-Lucent, he states.
As a company we see the best way for suppliers to find
balance with consumer expectations and other imperatives is
to push innovation deeper into the distributionnetworks.
Alcatel Lucent develops and deploys solutions specifically
designed to enable the smart grid, supporting scores of power
suppliers globally. In addition, the companys research arm,
Bell Labs, offers tailored programs that fully analyze a utilitys
network in terms of security, reliability, scalability, and adaptability, providing a roadmap for investment in the two- to
five-year time frame.

Kamal Ballout, Alcatel-Lucent

the smart grid is poised to yield those promises of more
reliability, fewer outages, faster response times to issues,
reduced cost and increased efficiency. It also will create a
safer environment for growth thanks to the integration of
renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions on a macro and
The smart grid is going to transform the way we live and
work, Ballout states. The worlds leading utilities and suppliers recognize this and are dedicating the investment, expertise, innovation, and resources necessary to make sure that
they are part of the transformation.


Were utilizing Bell Labs to analyze the impact of the new

applications, new appliances, electric vehicles and consumer
behavior on the grid to understand the pressure they are

SMART GRID: The Worlds Leading Utilities Turn Promise into Reality | 3

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If we put the right
information, the right
pricing and the right
tools in the hands of our
customers, theyll see
the ability to save and
will respond as they see
fit. Ken Grant, OG&E


The complexities brought on by everincreasing power demand, variable fuel

costs, renewable energy sources, and
high customer expectations are driving
the imperative for utmost efficiency in
the way any utility manages its distribution system. Thanks to the unprecedented communications and control
offered by the smart grid, leading
power providers such as Oklahoma Gas
& Electric (OG&E) are reaching those
efficiency goals.
OG&E has been working with AlcatelLucent on its efficiency solution, rolling
out a multi-tiered IP and POS communications network for its 785,000 customers, utilizing a point-to-point licensed
microwave backbone system and a
point-to-multipoint wireless field area
network. This cutting-edge deployment
is already transporting two-way data
traffic from more than 250,000 smart
meters on the utilitys power delivery
distribution system, and on a limited
number of capacitor banks for study
purposes, enabling real-time automation
for remote meter reads, connections and
disconnections of service.

From control room

A few years ago we decided not to
build any additional fossil fuel capacity until 2020, explains Ken Grant,
managing director of OG&Es smart grid
program. To meet expected demand
we wanted to create additional capacity using demand response and wind
investment. We needed a smart grid
platform in order to push the right
pricing and usage information out to
customers so that they could see that
in a real-time format, and then make
better decisions on their consumption.
The smart grid efficiency extends to
OG&Es new advanced tools to monitor
and control the distribution network,
locate and isolate faults, prepare
switching orders, regulate voltage and
optimize the flow of reactive power


to reduce losses and reduce energy

demand during peak demand periods,
all benefits that make the system a
win-win from control room toconsumer.

Smart meters, smart pricing,

smart business
OG&Es smart meters were first
deployed in 2008 to about 6600 customers, serving as a successful initial
technology demonstration. That was
followed in 2009 with approval by the
Oklahoma Corporation Commission for
recovery on the deployment of 42,000
meters in Norman, Oklahoma, south
of Oklahoma City. A US$130 million
smart grid investment grant from the
Department of Energy followed, along
with approval from the OCC for full
deployment. OG&E subsequently began
its rollout to all customers in February
2010, an initiative that the company
expects to complete by the end of 2012.
Demand pricing is part of the mix, with
the goal of 20 percent of residential
users voluntarily engaged in a timebased rate by 2014. We believe that if
we put the right information, the right
pricing and the right tools in the hands
of our customers, theyll see the ability
to save and will respond as they see fit,
Grant states. Weve really tried to take
an approach of creating a partnership
with our customers. Working hand in
hand, were helping them to find ways
to shift usage, and they seem to be
pretty receptive to the way were rolling
this out and moving it forward.
Meanwhile, projects like OG&Es are
bringing new skill sets into utility
companies, Grant adds. Its an interesting evolution for the utility industry
become more data-intensive, more
high-tech, having better information
from which to make business decisions.
Its opening a new age for utilities and
how they engage their customers and
manage theirbusinesses.

4 | SMART GRID: The Worlds Leading Utilities Turn Promise into Reality

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Power systems worldwide are being
run harder than ever before. Increased
demand for electricity, the environmental and financial issues associated
with building new generation assets
and the impact of renewable sources
such as wind and solar are creating new
challenges for distribution reliability
Todays renewable power resources
are distributed out along the grid at the
far end of the network, including many
that are at domestic premises. These are
effectively uncontrolled by the utility,
pumping energy into the network and
affecting the voltage levels, notes Peter
Johnson, Vice President Smart Grids,
Alcatel-Lucent. Additionally, things like
air conditioning, data centers and the
overall demand from new office buildings are all pushing daytime and particularly summer demand to new peaks,
causing fluctuations in power quality
and even outages.
Solutions are at hand. Using a robust
communications infrastructure with
smart meters at the periphery of the
grid with sensors embedded throughout,
leading power suppliers are effectively
addressing these issues accurately
forecasting pending instability, reacting
in real time to outages, and creating a
more balanced and reliable system.
This is nothing new in the high-voltage
group, says Johnson, but now were
talking about doing it in the lower
voltage parts of the distribution network
to transformers, substations, offices
and homes. The objective is to measure,
inform and manage.

improve monitoring of power system

dynamic performance and stability to
prevent failures, and provide greater
access to detailed information for
the evaluation of the condition and
operational performance of important

World electricity
consumption increase
2007-2035: 87%

The reliability partnership

with customers
Persuading consumers to shed some of
their load will help the overall reliability
and quality of the grid, says Johnson.
With control points in the network and
consumer power agreements, the utility
will be able to better control quality by
seeing when the voltage is rising and
either arrange to send that surplus to
someone else, or more likely, start controlling the production.
So whats ahead? We have to move
away from individual siloed networks,
each dedicated to a particular use, to
homogenous networks based on IP/
MPLS technology that will ensure both
robustness and flexibility for variable conditions and new applications
that we havent even thought about,
Many of the worlds power leaders,
from EPB of Chattanooga to New
Zealands Transpower, are already
deploying these bold new smart grid
initiatives. When projects are complete,
aging communications infrastructures
will have been renewed, offering the
benefits of real-time system monitoring, substation automation, and effective consumer participation, providing
a new level of overall reliability for the

Renewable share of world

electricity generation by

Electric vehicles: 20% of the

market by 2030

Smart grid
reliability benefits

Dramatically improved real-time

visibility over operations
Dynamic supply adjustments to
meet demand
Better predictions for grid weaknesses or failures
Immediate, automatic actions to
limit the spread of outages
Reduced costs through minimizing fault impacts

These new tools allow greater operator

awareness of power system conditions,

SMART GRID: The Worlds Leading Utilities Turn Promise into Reality | 5

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Q: How does the smart grid map to the

benefits and challenges of renewables?
MO: Wind and solar are variable sources, so you need to back
them up with spinning reserves, storage, energy efficiency or
sophisticated demand response. If a cloud comes over a solar
farm, it's going to start reducing renewable output almost substation by substation, so in order to keep that grid in balance,
demand response on a very localized level becomes more
critical than ever.
WM: Without the intelligence provided by the smart grid, you
have spinning reserves that can waste as much as 40 percent
of the energy that is generated by those renewables, but with
intelligence you can reduce that down to 5 or 10 percent.


Non-traditional energy sources can be located anywhere and
everywhere on the grid, raising new challenges for monitoring and management that can only be addressed with new
generation communications network and real-time data flow.
William R. Moroney, CEO of Utilities Telecom Council (UTC),
Michael Oldak, UTCs General Counsel, and Ken Budka, Senior
Director of Advanced Mission-Critical Applications at Bell Labs
recently spent time discussing the impact of these new assets.

MO: In 2008, and the industry was about to embark on about

$700 million of new generation investment. We were able
to defer about $200 million of that by making investments
in the smart grid and its control technologies. Using agreements by consumers that allow us to interact with their
smart appliances or thermostat, we see the ability to reduce
demand on those five days a year when were running at
absolute maximum. Weve been able to reduce those peaks
by 30 percent to 40 percent, which is huge, giving utilities at minimum the ability to defer and possibly avoid new
KB: One big challenge is the explosion in the number of measurement and control devices that will need to communicate
with one another. When you start putting devices in every
home, that increases by several orders of magnitude.

Q: What is the future of renewable energy

onthe smart grid?
WM: We are still in the very beginnings of renewable energy,
and it will become ever more distributed. The most effective manager of this will be the grid itself, which argues for a
great deal of communications that are reliable, redundant and
robust, with the ability to ensure effective management.
KB: Renewables will be everywhere in the home, in public
spaces, on the rooftops of commercial buildings, and in the
materials of buildings themselves. To make these highly
variable energy sources useful, storage devices also will be
everywhere. All of these devices will communicate with one
another to make this highly distributed system sing.
WM: Its not hard to accept that in the future renewables will
be the main source of energy. The question is how are we
going to get from here to there? The answer will lie in effective, reliable communications systems pushed as far into the
grid as possible.

6 | SMART GRID: The Worlds Leading Utilities Turn Promise into Reality

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From on-demand movies to boarding passes delivered on smartphones,
this is the age of technology-enabled
consumer empowerment. This trend
extends to the heart of the smart grid,
where systems now being deployed are
capable of knowing when a family takes
showers in the morning, runs the dishwasher after the evening meal, plugs
in an electric car, and does laundry on
Saturday afternoons, enabling customers
to better understand and control their

They are visionaries, states Ken Budka,

Senior Director of Advanced MissionCritical Applications, Bell Labs, who
has been working with the company.
EPB will be mining all the data that is
being collected in the grid from all of
the sensors, their control system and
their meters. All of this will be turned
into information that can be used for
control, for planning, for prediction, and
to control some of the variability that is
being introduced by renewable energy
sources throughout the grid.

On the forefront of consumer empowerment is Electric Power Board of

Chattanooga (EPB), which is rolling out a
gigabit passive fiber-to-the-home (FTTH)
network to its entire service area of
more than 170,000 customers. It is the
first such smart utility system in North
America that is capable of collecting and
processing electrical usage information
in real time while offering additional
advanced communicationsservices.

Demand response devices will be able

to control power that goes to various
appliances, which will save power in a
water heater, for example, with no loss
of available hot water for the customer,
says Budka. We have been very
involved, providing the FTTH solution
and now bridging this control layer,
turning all of that data into intelligence.

Additionally, the Electric Power

Research Institute (EPRI) has estimated
the value to EPBs customers in the form
of reduced outages, energy conservation and other efficiencies at roughly
US$300 million over 10 years, while the
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
has projected the service areas total
economic and social benefits from the
FTTH project at US$600 million during
the same period.
The way we see the smart grid, its
never going to be completely done
because we will always be working to
improve it, says Danna Bailey, Vice
President of corporate communications
for EPB. Its great to have one technology be the foundation for providing
better electric service and better communication service at the same time.

Leveraging assets for

financial advantage

Information is power
Real-time usage information from smart
meters will allow EPBs customers to get
the information and control they need
to better manage consumption, including
the option of turning off certain devices
when not in use, or turning on appliances when power is less expensive.
In the meantime, the utilitys data
management systems will enable
dynamic energy pricing while automating outage management and energy

The financial benefits from this initiative are substantial for both EPB and its
community. Leveraging the same FTTH
infrastructure, EPBs telecom department can now offer additional advanced
voice, video and interactive communications services based on the AlcatelLucent industry-leading Triple Play
Service Delivery Architecture (TPSDA).
Revenue generated for those offerings
is expected to completely pay for the
FTTH deployment.

EPB of Chattanooga:
By the numbers

Customers: 170,000*
Coverage area: 600 squaremiles*
Projected outage decrease
by2012: 40%*
Customer savings on energy:
US$300 million over 10 years**
Community benefits:
US$600 million over 10 years***

Sources: *EPB **Electric Power Research Institute

***University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

SMART GRID: The Worlds Leading Utilities Turn Promise into Reality | 7

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Korea: Bell Labs and the Gachon Energy
Research Institute (GERI) of Kyungwon
University are working together to
design mission-critical communication
infrastructures, comprehensive security systems, and develop analytical
models to assess the impact of the smart
Australia: This year Bell Labs and
University of Melbourne officially
launched the Centre for Energy-Efficient
Telecommunications (CEET), dedicated
to generating breakthrough technologies
and guiding collaborative, world-class
research projects in telecommunications
network infrastructure.
In these locales and elsewhere around
the world, Bell Labs' research supports its Trusted Network Advisor

services, dedicated to helping global

energy industry players analyze, plan
and successfully transform existing power grids to next-generation
 A techno-economic analysis
of a utilities current and/or
 An analysis of strategic, business,
and operational plans
 a reliable roadmap for migration
planning and design to an efficient,
smart system.

training, you name it. We help them

figure out how to evolve in a strategic
way so that they can meet the future
requirements of the grid and do that in a
way thats also fiscally responsible, with
a good return oninvestment.

The promise of the smart grid doesnt

happen overnight. Its something you
evolve to, says Ken Budka, Senior
Director of Advanced Mission-Critical
Applications, Bell Labs. Utilities have a
large investment in legacy infrastructure,
communications equipment, software,

In a study our Bell Labs Business

Modeling team recently conducted, we
showed that migrating from a circuit
mode core network infrastructure to a
converged IP/MPLS core network infrastructure capable of supporting future
smart grid applications would result
in a 40 percent reduction in total cost
of ownership over a 10-year period,
adds Budka. Such analysis is multidisciplinary: Theres obviously a strong
technology investment, but were really
in the business of turning promises




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Contact Alcatel-Lucent expert: Peter Johnson

Phone: (+44) 162842 8377 | Email: Peter.Johnson@alcatel-lucent.com | To learn more, visit www.alcatel-lucent.com
Copyright 2011 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved. EPG0550110404

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