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Article Archive

Cracking the ROI Code

Raising generation returns in evolving power markets
Rapid change in the power generation industry calls for a new approach to managing plant assets. Optimizing operations at individual plants is the first step, but the greatest value is found in a portfolio management approach. A recent IBM study quantifies benefits and provides a strategic roadmap.

Playing Leapfrog

Goldman Sachs goes prospecting in New Mexico
A state-sponsored agency in New Mexico aims to jump the queue for wind farms tying into the grid – suggesting it should be the one to lead green power development in the Silver State. But competing projects are crying foul, suggesting that Goldman Sachs money has turned heads and encouraged a bending of the rules for transmission planning.

Ratcheting Down

TVA saves interest with downward-adjusting paper.
A novel financial structure goes one better than callable bonds in taking advantage of lower interest rates. TVA saved money when rates fell, and paid the same when they rose.

Cybersecurity and Remote Access

Hacker’s playground
Among the many paths that hackers take to break into utilities’ enterprise networks, one attack vector is used more frequently than any other. That vector is, ironically, the very set of tools that information technology (IT) professionals use to provide tech support – remote access terminals. Securing these channels requires some commonsense approaches to preventing break-ins and misuse, but it also calls for specialized strategies that maintain the IT support tools that utility workers require.

Customer-Care Tipping Point

Channel strategies for the new energy consumer
Self-service is the key to reducing operational costs and providing customers with the interactive and mobile tools they want -- and increasingly that they expect.