IIoT Top News: Utilities Powering Tomorrow

We’re fresh off a great week at DistribuTECH 2016 where we saw a gamut of technologies, thought leaders and trends. With utilities and energy still top-of-mind, our focus this week is on the changing face of the industry. This digital age means we have come to expect that the power will always charge, operate and run our numerous IoT devices. That’s why this week’s IIoT top news is dedicated to powering our electrical future.  So, it should come as no surprise that, the electric power industry has made it their mission to protect and secure this precious power at all costs. The power initiative has teamed up with federal agencies, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to continue to build its capabilities.

Now as you hold tight to your digital devices, take a breath, relax, and enjoy this week’s top news roundup.

Industry Pioneer: The Road to Electric Utility of the Future is Paved With Prosumer Technology (Forbes)

Years later, after the initial big push for IoT with utilities, we are still hoping for better, cheaper and smarter utility solutions. Forbes suggests the future of utilities will be paved in prosumer technology. William Pentland writes, “In 2009, the U.S. government made the single largest investment ever in modernizing the U.S. power system. Nearly seven years and more than five billion in federal tax dollars later, the electric grid is technically a lot smarter than it used to be. So why do utility rates seem to be getting more – not less – stupid?”

Utilities to Lead Surge of Electric-Car Charging in Southern California (Green Car Reports)

Southern California now has the lead on electric-car charging stations as utility companies in the area task themselves with an aggressive plan to expand the number of station in the region.  A recent report from Navigant Research suggests that, “The commencement of these projects marks a major transition for electric-car charging in California, as it marks the beginning of significant involvement from utilities.”

Michigan Utilities Expected to Surpass Renewables Mandate (North American Wind Power)

Each year the state of Michigan sets a level of renewable energy that must be met, only this year the Michigan Utilities is expected to surpass that mandate with a surprising amount of growth. According to the six-annual report from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), “There has been significant growth of wind generation in Michigan’s renewable energy certificate portfolio, from 7 percent in 2009 to 44 percent in 2014.”

Geographic border map and flag of Michigan, Great Lakes State

NRG Proved How Tough It Is To Change. So Who’s Poised to Become the Utility of the Future? (BreakingEnergy.com)

A short time ago NRG set its sights on becoming the Google of the energy world, but as the IoT evolves it is very likely an unknown company will be the next market leader for energy worldwide. GreenTech Media argues that “the utility of the future will also have to be so much more to succeed — leveraging data, new technologies and personalization to transform the way customers consume and deliver power.”

What Are Utilities Thinking Today About the Importance of Engaging with Their Customers? (Intelligent Utility)

As world continues to become all things IoT, utilities need to consider how engaged they would like to be with their customers. ONZO survey results at DistribuTECH 2016 show, “Most utilities also plan to increase their investment in improving customer engagements and think that analytics are key to their ability to do so.”

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