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Smart grid can provide power reliability for entire country

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Although major blackouts, similar to one that affected 5 million people in the Southwest U.S., are somewhat rare, they occur more in America than other developed countries because electric utilities keep excess power capacity to a minimum.

But better reliability could be implemented if the correct investments are made, Reuters reports.

By modernizing the current grid and updating it with smart grid technologies, blackouts could be kept at bay. If utilities spend $500 million in the next ten years on transmission and distribution systems, which includes smart meters, substation automation equipment and software, users could possibly save up to three times the amount of the initial investment in the same 10 years, according to John Kelly, Executive Director at the Galvin Electricity Initiative.

Energy experts have found that many users are on board with paying a small amount extra for the added reliability.

"I think people will be surprised there is a willingness to pay somewhat more for a somewhat hardened grid and better outage response assistance," said Steve Mitnick, President of the nonprofit energy research group Build Energy America.

Smart grid technologies could prevent blackouts like Southwest America's recent one, which affected Arizona, Southern California, and Mexico, according to New York Daily News.

SUBNET works with utilities to provide substation automation and other services that could help prevent further blackouts.  In October 2011 SUBNET will be showcasing the latest in substation automation technology at their conference taking place in Austin, Texas. Visit for more information.

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