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Transmission

Ti: The Transmission Line Inspection Robot

EPRI developed Ti, a robot capable of crawling over conductor shield wires and harvesting power from ambient energy sources to support autonomous, high-fidelity condition assessment.
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A technician uses a bucket truck as he prepares to attach Ti to a transmission line. The robot’s diagnostic equipment includes  high-definition cameras, LIDAR sensors, electromagnetic interference detectors along with data processing, global positioning, and communications systems.
"EPRI developed Ti,  a robot capable of crawling over conductor shield wires and harvesting power from ambient energy sources to support autonomous, high-fidelity condition assessment." – Andrew Phillips
Ti traverses an energized transmission line during a mobility and endurance test run.
Author Bio: 

Dr. Andrew Phillips is director of Transmission and Substation Research at the Electric Power Research Institute. Phillips earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Managing Overhead Transmission Lines

Build to Order

Engineers and constructors adapt to serve an industry in transition.
From gas pipelines to PV arrays, the nation’s contractors are seeing growth in utility infrastructure. Fortnightly talks with executives at engineering and construction firms to learn what kinds of projects are moving forward, where they’re located, and what lies over the horizon.

Vendor Neutral

(December2012) KC Electric Association expects soon to finalize installing a Sensus FlexNet network and iCon A electric meters to serve about 4,000 residential and small commercial members across a 5,000-square-mile territory in rural Colorado. Itron and C3 Energy formed an alliance to integrate and jointly market an energy management solution to North American utilities. And others...

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KC Electric Association is installing Sensus meters in rural Colorado.
PG&E became the first utility to deploy Picarro Surveyor mobile devices for gas leak detection.
Georgia Power started up the final unit at its new McDonough-Atkinson combined-cycle plant.
Siemens will supply a SGT6-5000F gas turbine for a new power plant in Manaus, Brazil.
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Vendor Neutral

RTO Tango

Utilities in the Midwest ISO want greater access to sell into PJM’s lucrative market. But that might require a virtual merger of the two RTOs — a move rejected seven years ago as too costly, and perhaps still impractical today.
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Commission Watch
Author Bio: 

Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly.

PJM and MISO ran from the altar once before. Now there’s talk of a shotgun wedding.

Rate Design by Objective

Changes in regulatory requirements, market structures, and operational technologies have introduced complexities that traditional ratemaking approaches can’t address. Poorly designed rates lead to cross-subsidies, inequitable outcomes, and perverse incentives. An objective-based approach can better communicate costs to customers in a way that better serves operations and policy goals.

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Author Bio: 

Philip Q Hanser is a principal with The Brattle Group. He acknowledges the contributions of Brattle colleagues Ryan Hledik and Ahmad Faruqui, as well as Ken Costello of the National Regulatory Research Institute. He also acknowledges editorial assistance from Heidi Bishop and Shannon Wentworth at Brattle. The opinions expressed in this article are Hanser’s and don’t represent those of The Brattle Group or its clients.

A purposeful approach to setting energy prices.