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Smart grid growth continues as savings soar

By Donna Donnowitz
December 24, 2013

Nationwide smart grid development continues to expand, with more organizations looking to adopt the appropriate hardware, such as serial to Ethernet converters, in order to promote greener, more reliable and sustainable energy solutions. According to Mother Nature Network, the U.S. has already spent around $7.8 billion on smart grid deployments, and further investments are likely to continue as consumers demand improving power infrastructure and the expectations of cleaner energy grow.

Of course, there are other benefits to smart grid deployment.

"Right off the bat, the benefits are $70 billion per year in reduced costs from outages, and in a year where there are lots of hurricanes, lots of ice storms and other disturbances, that benefit even goes further," Massoud Amin, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Minnesota and an outspoken proponent of smart-grid development, told the news source. "In addition, it would increase system efficiency by 4.5 percent - that's another $20.4 billion a year."

Smart grids allow providers to harness renewable energy resources and enhance the delivery of power in a low-cost, economical way that allows consumers to see the advantages clearly. This boosts the overall quality of energy distribution across the nation, but also improves the reputations of firms that utilize these solutions, as they appear more eco- and consumer-friendly.

Despite the large amounts that have already been invested into the nation's power infrastructure, a further $300 to $500 billion could be needed to complete the grid from coast to coast, Amin told the news source. In order to accomplish these efforts, energy providers and cities will need to deploy the appropriate technologies slowly over time in order to reap the rewards and balance their budget alongside these investments.

Smart grid investments, as well as the necessary terminal server and related hardware, will also provide key improvements like the elimination of power outages due to improved distribution and similar benefits. Overall, this will enhance customer service and support nationwide efforts to stabilize utility provisioning. With these goals in sight, firms can focus on such growth and find the room in their budgets for the initial investments needed to launch such deployments much more easily.

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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