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Smart grid implementation rises 25 percent in 2011

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On January 24, the results of the Microsoft/OSIsoft Worldwide Utility Industry Survey 2012 were announced at the DistribuTECH conference and exhibition in San Antonio, Texas, which indicated a 25 percent increase in the number of utilities that have installed smart grid technology to their existing electrical infrastructure.

The survey also found that 28 percent of respondents have entered into the planning phase of smart grid implementation, however 24 percent stated they have not begun any smart grid operations. Still, 62 percent of the utilities surveyed said they expect their budgets to increase over the next two or three years, which will allow for more smart grid expenditures.

The study was conducted by Microsoft Corp. and OSIsoft LLC, and involved 216 companies operating in the electric, gas and water utility industries. The poll underscored the challenges utilities encounter as they move from the planning stage to complete implementation of smart grid technologies, as almost 20 percent stated technical issues kept them from progressing - an even larger group than in 2011's survey.

"This year's survey shows that more and more utilities companies are adding new devices to the grid and incorporating new data sets into their operational capabilities," said Jon C. Arnold, managing director for the Worldwide Power and Utilities Industry at Microsoft and a member of the Smart Grid Advisory Committee to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Arnold also pointed out that many of these same organizations are facing serious interoperability and integration issues. He stated that these risks can be removed, as long as utilities go about leveraging technology and architectures that are adaptable in the new system.

SUBNET Solutions Inc. is poised to confront these issues with its array of solutions and software that enables a utility to introduce real-time integration of intelligent utility systems. This is achieved through SUBNET's Unified Grid Intelligence, an interoperability philosophy that drives its holistic approach to managing and administering substations that have been outfitted with disparate intelligent devices.

The company's services are in high demand in North America, as 72 percent of the survey respondents stated they do not have an enterprise-wide scalable architecture that can support existing and future smart grid deployments.

SUBNET also helps utilities meet stringent NERC CIP standards by leveraging existing assets of a utility and utilizing their established corporate IT policies, ensuring a secure and efficient entry into the smart grid.

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