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Federal Open Data Strategy to boost smart grid efforts

By Donna Donnowitz
June 2, 2014

Federal initiatives to help businesses harness the power of one of their top resources - data - are beginning to pan out in major ways. Since his first term, President Obama has helped to reduce the cost of data storage from 44-cents a GB to roughly 5-cents per GB, but what's more important is how companies are able to leverage data for productivity improvements and other value-driving essentials.

According to GreentechMedia, these changes are particularly important in the smart grid market, as utility providers focus on optimizing their data access and use.

"Five and 10 years ago, it might have been $150 or $200 dollars a month to provide streaming wireless data from a meter. Now it's $20, $30, $40 a month," Gregg Dixon, an industry expert with EnerNOC, said in an interview for GTM's intelligent efficiency report last year. "The [cost of the] hardware to meter energy is a fraction of what it was a decade ago."

The data availability to energy used ratio is important for utility providers to explore. The growing availability of information helps firms optimize their delivery, avoid risks like blackouts more effectively and minimize issues surrounding the introduction of solar and other renewable resources. This is particularly important as tax payers see their money being invested into these big data efforts and expect a payout in some form or another.

In 2012, several federal initiatives changed the way data is regulated in energy efficiency and related markets. According to the news source, efforts like the Green Button Initiative and the Climate Data Initiative are important for how they influence how data is put to use, but consumers are still waiting to see the turn around.

"Taxpayers paid for these vast troves of data; they should be available," said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, according to the source. Park further noted that these data initiatives are expected to drive nearly $3 trillion in economic activity, with $340 billion of that in the electricity markets.

With broadening data availability, it is critical for utilities to support the flow of information with appropriate network infrastructure, including terminal servers and the like.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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