Microgrids are popping up across the country, driven by energy cost savings, sustainability, reliability and resilience
From a municipal airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to a school district in Salinas, California, microgrid projects are popping up across the country, fueled by the desire for energy cost savings, sustainability, reliability and resilience.
Grid modernization is gearing up, with several states leading the charge
Grid modernization is getting into gear across the country as electric utilities continue to work to automate distribution and smarten the grid. Buoyed by validating data, states such as California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts are leading the way, providing blueprints for other regions to follow.
Electric utilities are realizing that distribution modernization programs, also referred to as grid modernization, can no longer be put off. Overhauling the electric distribution system will require upgrades to OT, as well as to the networks that allow IT and OT components to communicate to improve reliability. The benefits are clear: Grid operators need advanced sensors, communications and automation so they can see what’s happening in real time, which will lessen disruption while enhancing efficiency, reliability, security and safety.
Government and utility leaders understand the importance of maintaining security across IT, OT networks
Intent on safeguarding the nation’s largest electric grids from potential mayhem, federal regulators have stepped up their oversight of the security of power utilities in an attempt to protect it from threats and incidents such as widespread, long-duration blackouts caused by digital saboteurs. Cyber threats linger, however, with operational technology (OT), including water systems that are far less centralized and, thus, more vulnerable.
System reliability & efficiency needs are driving utilities to rely on connected technology
Growing commitment to distributed energy resources (DER) is forcing continued modernization of the grid — and the effort shows no signs of letting up. Whether by regulatory mandate or stakeholder pressure, system upgrades are being made worldwide to support the increase in renewable energy, while making infrastructure smarter and more resilient. Historically, attention to the grid’s distribution system focused on poles and wire maintenance and upkeep, but growing connectivity between assets is requiring a more holistic approach.
Utilities need to start thinking about how to scale up power infrastructure to meet demand
Last year marked a monumental turning point for the future of electric vehicles (EVs), with several auto companies such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors and Volvo announcing significant electrification plans. Bolstered by improved battery technology, longer battery range, greater variety and lower prices, consumer confidence in EVs is at an all-time high. According to Forbes, light-duty EV sales in the United States rose 37 percent in 2016.
New Strategic Directions Report reflects rising role of Big Data across infrastructure systems
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., January 16, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Big Data’s potential to improve community quality of life while making critical human infrastructure more efficient and sustainable is overcoming lingering fears about the costs of smart city solutions.
PT Freeport Indonesia started a program in 2013 in the remote Papuan highlands called LIMAR, which is an acronym for People’s Independent Electricity as written in the Indonesian language.
LIMAR was initially a battery-based power supply program but was recently upgraded to an electricity grid system in November 2017. Over 350 homes and public facilities in the three villages of Omawita, Fanamo and Otakwa have been connected to the grid.
DER continue to drive change within the electric industry
Distributed energy resources (DER) continue to drive change within the electric industry as both energy consumers and electric service providers are diversifying how electricity is generated and delivered. Spawned by the public embrace of clean energy, falling prices, and regulatory subsidies, solar photovoltaics, battery energy storage, and microgrids are being deployed in more places across the electric system.