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Survey shows great strides that have been made in smart grid technologies

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, October 15, 2012

A recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research shows the major advancements that have been made in smart grid technologies, as well as the major players in the industry that are helping to drive the sector forward.

According to Electric Light and Power, respondents to the survey included analysts, senior analysts, managers, executive managers and engineers from utilities around the world. The heaviest concentration of respondents were from North America and Asia.

The study found that 44 percent said they are actively engaged in projects that are aimed at installing more intelligence into the power grid, with many saying they have invested and implemented processes or hardware that will support a smart grid. The bulk of respondents that have begun such projects were from municipal utilities that typically serve between 750,000 and 1 million customers. Among utilities, public irrigation/utility districts (PUDs) showed the lowest level of smart grid development, with 25 percent saying they were actively installing smart grid infrastructure.

When it came to adding new smart grid technologies to existing assets, 28.8 percent said they were currently in the middle of a smart grid project, while 25 percent said they had already made significant investments to improve intelligence. Another 21.2 percent said they have developed plans to modernize their grid infrastructure.

About 95 percent said that the way the current infrastructure is dealt with is extremely or somewhat important to ensuring sustainability and reliability in the electric grid.

The respondents were also asked to rank the importance of several aspects of the smart grid roll out, including advanced distribution management systems, consumer energy management solutions, integration of varied renewable distributed generation and advanced metering infrastructure.

The advanced distribution management systems category, which includes substation automation and remote capabilities, was said to be the top priority by 35.9 percent of respondents, while advanced metering infrastructure came in second, with 31.87 percent of respondents noting it was most important, the media outlet stated.

Integrating renewable energy into the grid was said to be the most important by 23.81 percent of respondents, while 22.22 percent said consumer energy management solutions should receive the most focus.

SUBNET has developed a number of products and solutions that tremendously reduce the time and costs that are associated with smart grid deployments.

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