Why the next wave of transformation is already upon us.
Mani Vadari is a partner at Accenture and leads the Network Management Practice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The electricity system in the United States received renewed attention after the August 2003 blackout that affected more than 50 million customers across the Northeast United States and caused billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy. This blackout became a call to action as the event exposed the United States’ dependency on a vulnerable infrastructure. The state of the grid was unacceptable and a change was needed to ensure safety and reliability across the system. The intelligent network is one of the results of that call to action.
“Intelligent” electric networks involve increased awareness in a network and its ability to respond in real time, leading to better operational effectiveness for the utility and an improved experience for the customer. It represents a complete transformation of today’s electric grid. Key aspects are:
(1) A combination of centralized and locally distributed generation models that can economically provide energy;
(2) Higher-quality materials that can transmit more power with fewer losses and failures;
(3) Improved sensors that can instantly observe the state of the grid and transmit the information to different locations;