Reminders

Smart Grid / Smart Energy

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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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C3: From Energy to IoT

By Kevin Prouty

C3 Energy has changed its name, and somewhat its focus. The new company is now called C3 IoT. While the name change might seem to indicate a significant change in the company, the functional focus is still on assembling and analyzing large amounts of operational and customer data into information and action. Most of the technology vendors, like Itron, GE, Schneider, Siemens, ABB, etc, have steered their offerings towards the Internet of things (IoT) market. For companies with existing analytical and Big Data offerings, a focus on IoT typically doesn’t require a large investment in new products. With IoT’s most valuable component being taking large amounts of data from diverse sources and deriving insight and direct actions, it makes sense for C3 to broaden its approach to the market and take it beyond energy markets.


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Smart Merger in Smart Buildings

By Kevin Prouty

Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) recently announced its merger with Tyco’s fire and security companies. The merger creates a new JCI that has a broader Smart Building portfolio. The new JCI will be better positioned to compete against the industrial mega-companies like GE, with its Current brand, Siemens, Honeywell, and Schneider.


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BRIDGE Energy Group’s 2016 Utility Industry Survey had some good news and some bad news on analytics and outage management. The good news is that utilities are becoming less dependent on customer calls for outage notifications. The bad news is that with all the money invested in meters and smart infrastructure, less than 20% of the notifications are coming from meter data and analysis.


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US Extends Solar Investment Tax Credit

By Kevin Prouty

An amendment within the omnibus spending package passed by the US Congress contains an extension for the Solar ITC. The extension has significant impact on all of players in the electrical utility business in the US.



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