Your smart grid rollout should go live everywhere, right from the start.
Gary Ockwell is chief technology officer for Advanced Control Systems, Inc.
Most utilities will conduct a cost-benefit analysis before making any major investment in the grid. Therefore, this analysis should recognize two key strategies for a commitment of this magnitude - a smart grid project, for example.
First, any smart grid rollout will gain the greatest benefits if applied at scale right from the start, to the maximum number of feeders, if not all of them. Second, each smart grid application delivers different benefits, such as cost reduction, improved reliability, greater power quality, or enhanced renewable deployment. The whole exceeds the sum of the parts. Thus, the accumulation of benefits established by layers of multiple smart grid technologies will only enhance the justification analysis. And, the quicker these applications can be implemented, the greater the benefits to be gained.
Yet utilities typically will fail to exploit either of these two strategies. Instead, utilities usually will implement smart grid automation according to a much different, though faulty set of guidelines - much to their disadvantage.