Yenra : Energy : Preventing Blackouts : Blackout Isolation and Prevention Technology

"Before billions of dollars are spent and years or decades of siting battles are fought, NEM urges legislators and regulators to take a hard look at the technology currently available that can minimize, isolate and possibly eliminate the short term reliability problems exemplified by last week's blackout," said Craig Goodman, president of the National Energy Marketers Association. "These technologies are available now and can be implemented in weeks or months, not years or decades. And make no mistake about it, these technological developments were inspired and grew out of the promise of a restructured marketplace," added Goodman. "We hope the Conference Committee and the Administration can structure an Energy Bill that will move this market forward. The assets are in the ground. The technology is available to improve system reliability. FERC and CFTC are well positioned to monitor, investigate, enforce, site and take responsibility for a reliable, regionally-based integrated national grid. And all of our members will be there to support them," said Goodman.

As examples of the type of ground-breaking innovation restructuring has inspired, NEM is pleased to announce that Media Fusion has joined the Association as an Executive Committee member. Media Fusion, Inc. invented a "state of the art" technology called Power Measurement Informatics (PMI). PMI's hardware and software represent technology capability that is several generations past that which presently exists. It provides real-time, predictive power measurement tools that can automate intelligence as well as predictive analytical tools for the prevention or containment/isolation of diverse electric distribution systems failures or black-outs. The technology not only gathers information in real time, but it also permits visual, geospatially accurate cognition or animated three dimensional pictures of electrical changes over any given geographical area. Not only is it a breakthrough in automated blackout isolation and predictive technology, but it is also a sophisticated visualization tool that will replace the static maps of blinking lights, alarms, and meters. PMI will permit quantum leaps in American Utility Operations and Homeland Defense capabilities while seamlessly integrating into existing SCADA legacy systems leaving no stranded costs.

Excelergy, one of NEM's founders, recently agreed to provide energy prices on the NEM website using its new ForwardMarket Technology. Every member of the Association will also be sent a CD version for use on their own desktops at no charge. HomePort, another NEM Executive Committee Member, is bundling five years worth of utility, telephone, internet, DSL and other services and has won approval from Freddie Mac to amortize this amount in the original mortgage on a residential home. If the owner sells within that time the services go with the home.

Other members of NEM's Executive Technology Policy Development Team like The SPi Group are analyzing each of the technology standards being developed by separate industry groups, bringing them together on the NEM site and trying to identify gaps in the standards that are being developed. Energy marketers are concerned about information flow from the wellhead to the burner tip as well as the generator to the light bulb and virtually every point in between. ITRON and IMServ, both founders of NEM, bring the most advanced metering technology to the marketplace. Alliance Data Systems and LODESTAR, also NEM founders, provide sophisticated electronic back office integration that permits the flow of usage and billing information from the local utility to the marketer and end-user.

Every lawmaker and policymaker and consumer knows you cannot light up a light bulb or a gas fired stove without reliable sources of energy delivered to the home. What we are just starting to learn is how efficiently the current U.S. energy delivery system is compared to what it could be with the new technologies that are available today. "In my opinion, energy-related technology will not only be the enabler of a restructured marketplace, but it will also increase disproportionately the efficiency and productivity of the Nation's current energy asset base," said Goodman.

The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) is a national, non-profit trade association representing marketers of energy and energy-related products, services information and technologies throughout the United States, Canada, the U.K. and The European Union.