IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - 126

Availability focuses on the under-use
of equipment in normal conditions to
provide capability under emergency
conditions. Transfer capability enables
the interchange focusing on increased
use of equipment for all time periods
that provide a profit for a supplier or a
buyer. Computer monitoring, analysis,
and control, such as from
EMSs, PMns and rASs,
provide the insight to balance operation for reliable transfer capability.
The recent deployment
of phasor-measurement
networks demonstrates
such a dramatic evolution
of computer control from
"SCADA"- based energy
management systems to
synchrophasor (satellite
time coupled) computer
control systems. The success of phasor-measurement networks in voltage
stability, frequency, and
stability is now being documented.
As noted for smart meters, these
systems do not produce another watt of
electric energy but do enable less equipment to implement the transfer. As all
of these costs are born by the customer,
the balance of costs to savings has to
be monitored and improved. not only
is the number of computers increasing
but the communication systems to support the interaction between these computers are also increasing dramatically.

Resource Changes
Distributed generation such as solar
cells, wind generation, and fossil generation by natural gas or biofuels reduces
the use of the grid as less transfer capability is needed. Thus, the costs of the
grid are supported by less remote generation use, increasing the costs for
traditional electric
energy generation and
transportation. Solar
cells mounted on
rooftops for residential, commercial, and
industrial direct use
reduce the use of the
grid and thus increase
the tariffs as the electric grid becomes the
backup for the distributed generation.
The average use of the
grid declines, and the
tariffs increase. Technology changes are
altering the life cycle
of this infrastructure just as the microprocessor altered the expected life of
mainframe computers.
Solar power provided .11% U.S.
electricity generation in 2012. nearly
90,000 business and residential owners
installed solar projects totaling about
1.1 gw, roughly the amount generated by a nuclear generator. This is a
45% growth over 2011. The number of
customer-sited photovoltaic systems in
the United States exceeded 300,000 by

The future
portfolio path
for each utility
should be
charted to
examine the
economic
process as
it unfolds.

126

ieee power & energy magazine

the end of 2012. As solar cells are very
early in the growth cycle, future conversion to these devices may outstrip
all predictions for equipment life expectancies, especially coal and nuclear-based generation.

Off the Grid
recent changes to solar cell legislation
in Arizona have shaken the solar industry and the green activists. The tariffs are
increased for those with installed solar
facilities as the impact of uncertain generation is balanced against the certain
generation. The only way to avoid the
increased rates is to go "off the grid."

Line in the Sand
The line is now drawn for confrontation or for inclusion. These threats to
utilities are just as strong as deregulation. The economic force is that
consumers need heating and cooling,
refrigeration, cooking, lighting, communications, etc. Economic forces,
such as the invisible market hand, have
always forced less-expensive solutions
in the long run. The future portfolio
path for each utility should be charted
to examine the economic process as it
unfolds. reliability, transfer capability,
distributed generation, and distributed
storage are the key technology changes
to monitor survivability while in the
age of the perfect economic storm.
p&e

may/june 2014



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - Cover3
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