Reminders

Smart Grid / Smart Energy

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Tesla's acquisition of Solar City can be seen as a merger between two companies that can create good synergies. Both companies are targeting environmentally friendly consumers, which are good prospects to purchase their electric vehicles, solar energy systems and backup storage. When looking at the merger from the surface, it looks like a good match for the two companies to combine their clean energy products and expand their reach to eco-friendly customers while cutting costs and increasing sales. However, when taking a deeper look at this from an economic and solar industry outlook perspective, the proposed merger loses some of its shine….pun intended.


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Takeaways from General Electric's (GE's) Minds + Machines Europe 2016 conference held mid-June in Paris, France. The event focused on the state of the Industrial Internet, which can be thought of as the Internet of Things (IoT) for industrial applications like manufacturing, power generation, and aviation.


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The new order under New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program allows utilities to capitalize Software as a Service) SaaS expenditures, opening the door to software investment. Will this only be a New York thing, or does it have the possibility to impact the way utilities do business in the U.S?


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Apple has DERs from various energy projects meant to secure reliable and renewable power for individual buildings and campuses. But it wants more. While Apple's FERC tariff application might seem innocuous at first glance, IDC Energy Insight's research shows why utility executives might do a double take on the news; they look at technology companies like Apple as their biggest potential threats. The filing, if approved, will open the door for Apple to build DERs that are meant solely to sell energy on the wholesale energy market.


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Tendril this week has announced the release of its MyHome energy management application. The application has been built of off Tendril's True Home simulation model which attempts to create customized and accurate predictions of a dwellings energy consumption.


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Transformation Goes Digital in Houston

By Kevin Prouty

Having done a whirlwind tour through rain-soaked Houston to see various large consulting companies, I managed to stay dry. The focal point of the trip was KPMG’s annual Global Energy Conference. It is a pretty well attended affair with senior executives from most of the major energy companies attending. But a theme that not only ran through KPMG’s event, but was at the core of all the consulting firms’ messages was that the downturn in crude price is leading to an upturn in consulting business.


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While you see the usual topics of call center management, billing, collections support, and so on at the events, it is interesting to note that analytics and cloud were again topics of a lot of discussions and presentations. But at each of these events, we made it a point to talk to both technology executives and utility executives for their perspective on the regulatory environment of using the cloud or any "as a service" technology platform in North America.


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On May 2nd Oracle announced it will acquire Opower. This will create one of the largest providers of customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services in the utility industry. The acquisition is valued at approximately $532 million, net of Opower's cash. The deal is expected to be completed in 2016.


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PJM's "pay for performance" Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) capacity market is expected to drive operational excellence from traditional fossil fuel generators. FERC's Order 745 being upheld in the courts earlier this year and puts the demand response (DR) at the forefront of capacity market model changes. FERC 745 will provide demand response participants the opportunity to participate in capacity markets and receive capacity payments on an equal level playing field with generators. This ruling should have some independent power producers and traditional utility generators concerned.


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On April 19, I conducted an early findings webinar that highlighted the results of a research project on IT/OT Convergence in Utilities. While the data I presented was only a small subset of the results, it still revealed some interesting information.



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