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IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter - March 2013

The Self-healing Grid: A Concept Two Decades in the Making

For most Americans, President Obama's mention of a self-healing grid was probably the first they had ever heard about a power system that could identify and fix its own problems, without direct human intervention. But the concept of a self-healing grid goes back twenty years and by now is well developed.

Protecting the Grid from Terrorism

The bulk power transmission system is vulnerable to physical attack by a small number of well-informed terrorists, which could result in a widespread outage lasting months. Cyber attacks also could cause serious blackouts. Strategies and technologies exist to minimize damage, assure graceful degradation, expedite restoration and ensure the continued provision of critical social services, whether such outages result from terrorism or natural events. R&D is vital for reducing the costs and improving the performance of these technologies.

Leveraging Technology to Increase a Cooperative’s Member Options

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC), a distribution cooperative, is focused on utilizing technologies to enhance reliability, increase member options and provide members with more detailed energy information. Assisted by a Department of Energy Smart Grid Demonstration grant, and leveraging the coop’s existing technology investments, it plans to increase member demand response options.

The Riches and Rewards of Consumer Engagement

More than one large utility has learned the hard way that introducing smarter power technologies without properly involving customers in the process can boomerang badly. But if the process is handled with foresight and skill, consumers will be easily won over with a plethora of appealing devices and services. Having been properly introduced to what's new and exciting, they will take to them as fast as they have discontinued landlines in favor of smart phones.

About the Smart Grid Newsletter

A monthly publication, the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter features practical and timely technical information and forward-looking commentary on smart grid developments and deployments around the world. Designed to foster greater understanding and collaboration between diverse stakeholders, the newsletter brings together experts, thought-leaders, and decision-makers to exchange information and discuss issues affecting the evolution of the smart grid.


Massoud AminMassoud Amin, a senior member of IEEE, chairman of the IEEE smart grid newsletter, and a fellow of ASME, holds the Honeywell/H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership at the University of Minnesota.
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M. Granger MorganM. Granger Morgan, an IEEE fellow, is professor and head of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University where he is also University and Lord Chair Professor in Engineering.
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Alan T. CraneAlan T. Crane is Senior Scientist at the National Research Council, where he is the study director for a project analyzing light-duty vehicle and fuel technology options for greatly reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
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Ryan HentgesRyan Hentges is Vice President of Corporate Services at Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative, where he has direct responsibility for technology, meter reading, billing, legal coordination and company-wide programs.
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Vern DoschVern Dosch is President & CEO, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC). NISC provides billing, accounting and engineering software systems to more than 650 rural utilities and telephone companies and 7,200,000 end customers in 47 states, American Samoa, Palau and Canada.
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