Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Smart grid investments rise, some utilities already leveraging growth
As global investments into smart grids and related technology like serial to Ethernet converters increases, utilities need to focus on expanding their smart grid deployments and supporting customers looking to harness cleaner, more sustainable energy.
According to Navigant Research, spending on smart grid systems is expected to grow at an impressive rate, totaling more than $139 billion between 2014 and 2022. These projects are being led by current strategies, though are likely to evolve as the technology related to smart meters and intelligent buildings evolves.
"A dizzying array of solutions has emerged to meet utilities' IT needs for the smart grid," noted Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "This is a period of rapid change, and the difficulties associated with legacy system replacement and new system integration are not minor – but the potential benefits are real and increasingly measurable in terms of grid efficiency, reliability, and financial viability."
Of course, some utilities are already a step ahead of the game, such as National Grid in the Northeastern United States. According to Penn Energy, National Grid has finally launched the next step in its smart grid rollout, offering smart grid connectivity to over 15,000 customers in the Worchester, Mass., area.
"Our customers depend on us to reliably deliver their electricity, so National Grid is leveraging new technologies to build a smarter, more resilient electric network," said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts, according to the news source. "By modernizing our system in Worcester, we hope to provide customers with improved response times and a reduction in the number of outages. We also will be better prepared for extreme weather events."
The optimization of utility delivery using a smart grid is critical for the continued growth of energy and migration to renewable, clean resources. The right investments into smart grid solutions and supporting meters, terminal servers and other hardware will be critical for utility providers going forward.
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.