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Utilities to use smart grid data analytics to optimize next phase of installations

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, September 12, 2012

All over the world, utilities are preparing for the next wave of smart grid installations, which over the next decade, will bring about revolutionary changes in the power transmission and distribution industry.

According to a new report from Pike Research, utilities are in the process of evaluating, planning and implementing new smart grid technologies, as well as all of their related enterprises, as they work to modernize electric infrastructure. This includes updating their operational and informational technology systems to accommodate for greater use of smart meters and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs).

These IEDs will help utilities monitor, analyze and synchronize their power networks, in turn creating a much more reliable grid that increases electricity availability and improves utilities' operating efficiency. However, the inclusion of these devices will also result in a flood of new data that could potentially inundate utilities and, if not assessed properly, negate the positive effects the data collection offers.

This will prompt utilities to invest in capabilities that allow them to collect, sort, analyze and store data securely, as such technology and solutions will be crucial for realizing returns on smart grid investments.

The report found that all of these factors combined will create a market for smart grid data analytics that will grow steadily through 2020, totaling more than $34 billion by that year. A good majority of this spending will take place in Asia Pacific, where utilities are expected to spend $2.5 billion every year through 2020. The Pike report takes a deep look at the growing market for data analytics, and breaks it down into four areas that will need the most attention: meter analytics, grid analytics, asset analytics and how renewables can best be introduced for business intelligence, operations and customer management.

The demand for software and solutions that can handle the vast amounts of data generated by IEDs has already led some of the largest utilities in America to adopt products from SUBNET, which has developed several solutions for smart grid issues.

For example, SUBNET's SubSTATION Server was developed to increase intelligence in substations with the most advanced, versatile and secure substation data management server on the market. The solution's success if reflected in the soaring demand for the product, which has already been chosen by more than 100 utilities around the world. 

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