Future of Smart Grid and its Implications for Electric Utilities
It is a well-known fact that the electric grid has evolved considerably over the past 10 years.
The smart grid systems that have already been deployed have enabled utilities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations, particularly as it relates
to reducing the frequency and duration of power outages, providing finer control of operating parameters (e.g., voltage), and enabling greater customer participation in
the management of their electricity through the application of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
In addition, in recent years, there have been accelerated deployments in renewable energy resources (distributed energy), electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructures,
grid-interactive buildings, microgrids, and more.
These technologies, which consumers and technology service providers often own and control, are introducing significant complexity and uncertainty to grid planners
and operators. Due to the changing resource mix and industry composition, the electric grid must now evolve to a new operating structure with advanced functional capabilities.
It will now need to manage variable power output, fluctuating and unpredictable load patterns, and bidirectional power flow, as well as enable novel grid designs. It will
also require effective, time-dependent coordination among all participants (utilities, market operators, and emerging players) to ensure the reliable operation of
essential and evolving grid functions.