Archive: Business

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Boulder to be first “Smart Grid City”

The next-generation power grid—enhanced by digital technologies throughout the network to give generators, distributors, and customers greater control—promises to improve efficiency and lower operating costs. This year, in the most full-scale effort yet, Xcel Energy begins introducing intelligent grid technologies that it hopes will make Boulder, Colo., the first Smart Grid City.

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Why RPS programs may raise renewable energy prices

Until very recently, common wisdom held that the price of renewable energy would fall as legislative procurement mandates ensured its long-term demand. The resulting growth in supply and sales would spur investment in the field, create economies of scale, and accelerate progress down the technology learning curve. Something unexpected, however, happened along the way. Though […]

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Global Monitor (May 2008)

National Grid divested of Ravenswood/ GE to sell Baglan Bay plant; From prairie grass to power/Renewables experience 40% growth/ The sustainable city/Solar recharger for developing countries/ Seeking CCS solutions/ Hoover Dam could stop generating/ Japan turns to fossil fuels/U.S. reactors produce record power/ POWER digest

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Time to get serious about security

Managing ongoing threats to power plants’ digital, telecommunications, monitoring, control, and automation systems is no longer just a good idea. It’s an essential element of superior plant operations and now a regulatory requirement as well, thanks to new critical infrastructure protection standards recently approved by FERC.

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Super Tuesday, Super Bowl XLII, and the nukes

The nuclear renaissance is likely to slow next year with a new tenant in the White House and many key regulatory positions in flux. Nuclear industry leaders are especially concerned that rules for construction loan guarantees will fall victim to the “wait and see” disease that infects those inside the Beltway every four years. If those rules aren’t in place before this November’s election, the nuclear renaissance may revert to the Dark Ages.

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Regulators should stop playing the greed card

In early February, Western GeoPower (WGP) announced its termination of a 20-year geothermal power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). A WGP press release explains that the company terminated the agreement because a regulatory approval condition had not been obtained within a 180-day time period stipulated in the PPA. WGP’s CEO, […]

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Economies of connection

The advent of the Smart Grid will bring a new driver for value creation to the electric power industry: economies of connection. In the future, the Smart Grid may offer our industry improved returns more typical of Internet-based businesses like eBay, Amazon, and Google to replace the diminishing returns typical of traditional “steel in the […]

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ELECTRIC POWER 2008 offers access to the latest products and services

If you enjoy POWER magazine’s New Products department, you’re going to love the ELECTRIC POWER 2008 Exhibition. You’ll be able to see and feel the latest tools of the trade and talk to the folks who provide them to the generation industry. Here’s a sneak peak at what awaits you on the exhibit floor May 6 to 8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

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The aging workforce: Panic is not a strategy

Leaders in the utilities sector talk a lot these days about talent. On one hand, they express concern about facing a shortage of knowledgeable staff as 76 million baby boomers exit the workforce. On the other, they worry about where they’ll find enough qualified people to remain competitive in light of the fierce battle for engineering talent that globalization has created. The antidote to these worries lies in reconfiguring HR practices.