Unlocking the next gen of smart grid benefits
UTILITIES HAVE INVESTED billions of dollars over the last five years in technologies designed to operate the electric grid more efficiently, reliably, safely, and cost-effectively. As deployment of smart grid infrastructure reaches an inflection point, utility executives are faced with the difficult task of determining how to best make use of the data generated by intelligent devices to drive business benefits. In many cases, utility analytics have been the key to unlocking this hidden value, there are examples of utilities recovering half the costs of their smart grid programs by detecting and preventing energy theft. Other companies are reporting improvements in service reliability of over 35 percent, enabled in part by the deployment of sophisticated analytical capabilities.
With more than 60 utility smart grid analytics use cases in existence, choosing a starting point for implementing an analytics program that optimizes value across the enterprise can be a daunting task, and there have been many lessons learned from early adopters. Some early adopters have undertaken ambitious initiatives focused on implementing big data applications without a well-defined data analytics road map, resulting in a significantly delayed return on investment. Conversely, other more conservative utilities have been more surgical, deploying one-off applications, which ultimately leave money on the table.
Therefore, creating a business case for analytics requires a methodology that transcends the technological and operational considerations of the utility, as well as one which can be easily articulated to key decision makers.