Puerto Rico is going to blow up U.S. power grid reliability metric

The electricity industry spends a gargantuan amount of time and money trying to improve system reliability.  There are myriad conferences, studies and reports that delve into the uptime of the U.S. electricity system, slicing data in a hundred different ways. Entire careers are spent trying to decrease power outage frequencies from 0.04% to 0.03%.

But recent hurricanes put things in perspective. Puerto Ricans are likely to be without power for months, according to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

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Smartphone app for NARUC conference wouldn’t comply with state regulators’ own privacy rules

The following is an article I wrote for Mission:data Coalition. It was published at RTO Insider.

At this week’s National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Policy Summit in San Diego, attendees were encouraged to download a NARUC app to facilitate in-person meetings. There’s just one problem:  The smartphone app would violate the privacy rules adopted by commissions in several states.

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Endearing crazies on Seattle’s ballot: Just a good laugh, or a sign of healthy democracy?

King County, Washington has a primary election August 1st. Each time I receive the Voter Guide in the mail, I have a good laugh at the bizarre and kooky candidates who somehow made it on the ballot. Is the Voter Guide an April Fool’s joke, I wonder?    Keep reading…

Power play: Making sense of monopolies and regulation

First, some news items…I recently presented at the ACEEE Market Transformation symposium in Baltimore regarding access to utility meter data. It was a great discussion about “the data deluge” in the utility sector. Co-panelists were from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Vermont Efficiency Investment Corporation, and former executives from ComEd and ConEd. I argued that we don’t have a Big Data problem – we have a Little Data problem: Accessing meter readings in homes and buildings is quite costly.    Keep reading…