A smart grid is an upgraded version of the electricity grid that includes various advanced technologies to improve the reliability, efficiency, and security of the power grid. These include two-way communication, automation, and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Some benefits of a smart grid are as follows:
- Greater efficiency. A smart grid allows for real-time monitoring and control of electricity usage. The result is a reduction in energy waste and greater overall efficiency. Through the use of a smart grid, utilities can optimize the distribution network, and minimize transmission losses reducing the need for new power generation sources or additional infrastructure investment.
- Increased reliability. Advanced sensors and automation technology allow smart grids to identify and respond to problems on the grid, such as outages or voltage fluctuations. The benefit Is reduced frequency and duration of power outages, and as a result, increased grid reliability.
- DER integration. Smart grids can facilitate the integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DERs) into the grid such as solar, wind and energy storage.
- Enhanced security. Smart grids offer enhanced security of the grid with the use of advanced cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber-attacks.
- Access to information. Energy efficiency and billing is an important part of communicating with utility customers. A smart grid gives customers more access to information to help them in making decisions about their energy usage and manage costs. In turn, a smart grid provides the utility data to more reliably serve customers.
As the demand for electricity continues to grow utilities can take advantage of the benefits of a smart grid in meeting the needs of customers and the grid. Learn more about the grid modernization services offered by the energy engineering experts at Electric Power Engineers.