April 2014 - Energy & Utilities Newsletter
For this issue of our newsletter, we’ve compiled a group of articles that address industry trends, consistent with what we have heard from our clients.
Date : April 7, 2014

This issue of “West News” highlights several new topics and issues that our clients tell us are top of mind today including: distributed generation, data analytics, natural capital, transformational and troubled projects.

Industry:

This issue of “West News” highlights several new topics and issues that our clients tell us are top of mind today.

Distributed generation. We are closely tracking the many issues and heightening complexity surrounding distributed generation—a sector that is growing exponentially and will likely continue on that pace. Costs may be coming down, but the regulatory requirements and technological considerations are increasing. We describe some of the challenges with which our utility clients are wrestling and how a distributed generation management system (DGMS) can be an effective tool for addressing those challenges.

Data analytics. We’re also following implications of the sharp increase of data generated in the past few years through new technologies funded by federal stimulus grants. Without exception, utilities are trying to extract meaningful insights from the massive amounts of meter and sensor data collected daily. We find that a top-down approach—one that focuses on the key decisions central to a utility’s operations and strategic investments—is most effective for defining an effective analytics program, and we outline our methodology in this article.

Rounding out this issue are articles about natural capital—a perspective that is changing how companies evaluate business processes, as well as how companies are perceived from the outside—and about how improved discipline around metrics can help increase the success of transformational projects. And lastly we have included a piece that puts our transformational methodology into perspective. Even the most well-structured projects can be derailed due to insufficient project management, improper systems testing, vendor misalignment, or unforeseen business changes. Then what? Our article on troubled projects discusses your options.

I hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter and find the topics relevant. We understand that solar distributed generation is a hot topic today, and would love to hear your feedback in this short 5 question survey. We are compiling all the results and we're eager to share them with you. The survey will take under 3 minutes of your time. Thank you for your insight on this topic!

Best regards,
Tom

Tom Hulsebosch
Managing Director Energy and Utilities Practice
West Monroe Partners
312-980-9320
thulsebosch@westmonroepartners.com

Utilities have struggled to develop a successful approach for extracting meaningful insights from the massive amounts of meter and sensor data they collect on a daily basis. Read our perspective on how to get real value from the data.

We expect the United States to hit one million cumulative residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in the next two years, making the 2016 market 10 times larger than the 2010 market. As the number of DG installations increases, though, complexities for utilities increase, as well.

As sustainability moves beyond the boardroom, natural capital asset management becomes critical across the business. We discuss why in this article.

The most difficult projects for utilities to implement are those that fall into the category of “transformational.” Why is that and what does it mean for your customers?

It’s happened to the best of us. You had a good plan, but you’re running late and spending more money to catch up. You wonder if it's time to throw in the towel and cut your losses. Don't do that until you read this article.
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