Involvement of the crew and utility customer is a powerful untapped source of telemetry, control and general network information
Gary Ockwell is chief technology officer for Advanced Control Systems, Inc.
In the previous article (See "Going Smart at Scale," January 2016), we discussed the challenges, tradeoffs and processes that utilities encounter in justifying the implementation of the smart grid. The utility may have their version of the smart grid with the objective of self-healing, loss minimization, renewable deployment, or some combination of all three. In order to meet an objective, it is vital that the utility develop an accurate business case supported by a "cost versus benefit" analysis. We discussed maximizing the benefits in the shortest time possible. This article applies the "Go-Live" strategies enabling more informed decisions on the part of the consumer regarding energy usage.
Most utilities are challenged with an aging energy infrastructure and should budget for their smart grid investment in automation. Moreover, if it isn't practical to upgrade their feeder network, due to budget restrictions, another concern could be their resource limitations. It is constructive to remember that the market is a competitive one, and customers can quickly make choices. Optimally customer recognition is attained when a utility has two elements within an implementation strategy: