image alt tag

Smart grid set for adoption explosion

By Donna Donnawitz
March 1, 2012
The groundwork for smart grid infrastructure has been put in place over the course of the past few decades, and the U.S. utility sector is now ready to go all in when it comes to deploying the advanced technology, FierceSmartGrid reported.

According to the news source, smart grid actually began in the 1980s, with the advent of automatic meter reading technologies. These solutions were designed to improve utility metering, and first became popular in the commercial and industrial settings. By the 1990s, the technology was emerging in the residential sector and would soon transform into advanced metering infrastructure.

This progression led to the advent of smart grid technology, which first became present in the country when Andres Carvallo, then the CIO of Austin Energy, turned the existing automatic meter reading system into a two-way advanced metering infrastructure solution, the earliest form of the smart grid, the report said. By 2008, Austin Energy advanced from their early smart grid to actual smart meter implementation, and was closely followed by Xcel Energy, a Colorado-based utility provider that announced a $100 million smart grid project. Not to be outdone by these city-based utility providers, the U.S. federal government followed suit. This led to the implementation of a national smart grid project late in 2008. However, the initial Department of Energy strategy involved just $17 million in investments.

This changed in 2009, when the DOE announced another plan that would put $47 million into national smart grid projects. The news source said this has been followed by many individual utility smart grid investments, both as part of the DOE program and independent of it. These investments have created a foundation for smart grid deployment that is now ready to be built upon in 2012, where the sector will likely see rapid growth and change.

The rise of smart grid has been rapid, and maturation is still needed before the technology can become truly mainstream. Many experts agree that smart grid can revolutionize the power grid through advanced networking options, but it also presents new cybersecurity risks. This issue needs to be dealt with through specific data and network protection standards that help safeguard the grid and enable large scale deployments throughout the country. Smart grid can still be safely deployed without these advances, but the rising scale of utility smart grid projects is creating more risk, making security increasingly important.

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.


Have a Question? Chat with a live Product Specialist!

Have a Question?

We can provide more information about our products or arrange for a price quotation.

email-icon Send an Email
contactus-icon Send an Email callus-icon Call Us

Send us an Email