March 2015 - Energy & Utilities Newsletter
For this issue of our newsletter, we’ve compiled a group of articles that address industry trends and exiting new innovations
Date : March 17, 2015

This issue of “West News” highlights several new and exiting topics including the Clean Power Plan, our contribution to the new Illinois Institute of Technology's Center for Smart Grid Applications, Research & Technology, highlights from our presentation on customer service transformation with Kansas City Water Services, in addition to other industry hot topics.

Industry:

Dear Clients and Friends,

I hope spring is off to a good start for you and that your March Madness picks are submitted and ready to go! My Marquette Golden Eagles aren’t in it this year, so picking my winner was harder than usual.

The temperatures are thawing out after a long, cold winter and likewise things are heating up in the energy and utilities. As always, our business and technology consultants at West Monroe Partners are tracking the key issues in our industry and we have included many of these topics in this edition of our newsletter.

Alison Patelski and Jeff Smith recently published a white paper that addresses how Distributed Generation (DG) installations are growing exponentially, with projections that there will be one million cumulative residential solar PV installations in the next two years in the U.S., making the 2016 market ten times larger than the 2010 market. Their white paper, which we have condensed for an article in this newsletter, focuses on how utilities can benefit from a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) that can help manage the growth and operations of Distributed Energy Resources in their network.

Also in this quarter’s newsletter, Jim McClanahan addresses the challenges impacting Multiple Address (MAS) Radio, which have been a popular solution used by utilities to reach and aggregate remote terminal units (RTUs).  There are significant portions of the existing MAS infrastructure that are critical, yet the technology in place on many of these systems is no longer supported by manufacturers and has effectively reached the end of its useful life.

In his piece on M&A trends, AJ Brown considers the question of whether 2015 will be the year of divestitures. Separating and realigning businesses, or “carve-outs,” can enable executives to focus on those businesses that are “core” to their strategic plans, but the process is a complicated undertaking that requires as much planning as a major acquisition.

In addition, Sean Murphy discusses how Distributed Generation (DG) rollouts present both challenges and opportunities against the backdrop of what has been a major growth in the deployment of solar in the U.S. As more customers explore solar installations, utilities and other providers will be increasingly focused on ensuring a positive customer experience.

I hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter. We welcome your feedback, questions, and suggestions on topics that you would like us to cover in this forum.

Best regards,

Tom Hulsebosch
Managing Director - Energy & Utilities
thulsebosch@westmonroepartners.com
 

As the utility business model continues to evolve and executives seek ways to diversify their portfolios, the value of a divestiture could be the means to spur growth. Even if the path of separation seems to have the right strategic appeal, the path to separation is far from easy.
2014 was a historic year for the deployment of solar in the U.S. The major shift in technology that Distributed Generation (DG) rollouts represents offers both challenges and opportunities.
There are significant portions of the existing MAS infrastructure that are critical, yet the technology in place on many of these systems is no longer supported by manufacturers and has, effectively, reached the end of its useful life.
Distributed Generation (DG) installations are growing exponentially, and projections show the United States is expected to hit one million cumulative residential solar PV installations in the next two years, making the 2016 market ten times larger than the 2010 market.
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