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2019 Strategic Directions:Smart Utilities Report

With Grid Modernization, Utilities Poised For Most Visible Transformation

As generation, transmission and distribution technologies continue to rapidly evolve, Black & Veatch’s 2019 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report finds that utilities are on the cusp of their most visible transformation in more than a century.

The report – expert analyses of a survey of hundreds of utility operators – shows that grid modernization efforts such as deploying smart devices, predictive analytics and active network management strategies can overcome the pitfalls of aging infrastructure. Along the way, such modernization also can meet rising customer demand for reliability, green energy and a lesser carbon footprint.

According to the report, utility business models are changing to accommodate growing volumes of renewable energy coming onto the grid. Smart grid devices gathering staggering amounts of data about consumption habits and system health are propelling the adoption of powerful new software that collects this actionable information, giving utility managers an unprecedented tool to plan for tomorrow's energy needs.

The report explores how transformative initiatives — from the greater integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DER) to the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) — are reshaping the market, fueling the grid modernization push.

The 2019 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report provides expert insights about all of these topics – and more.

Learn More:

  • Grid Edge Becomes the Center of Next-Generation Utilities

    Economical advances in energy production, storage and control are giving rise to the prosumer, driving consumer choice and ultimately producing a new energy marketplace at the local distribution level. Utilities are left to wonder how they’re going to manage two-way power flow and variable DER while maintaining the reliability, efficiency and security of their operations. Distribution modernization is inevitable, and making the edge of the grid autonomous and interactive is paramount for satisfying tomorrow’s energy demands.

  • Modernization Plans Target DER-Ready Distribution Systems

    Key drivers of investments that utilities are making in distribution system modernization stem from assets that utilities often don’t own – things like rooftop solar arrays, electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems. DERs are, by far, the top application that utilities are planning to support in the next three to five years, according to Black & Veatch’s report. We explain why.

  • Grid Modernization Will Require Active, Holistic Network Management

    Utilities are under intense pressure in the pursuit of maximum uptime and lowered carbon footprints. As data on electric systems gains new attention among system operators seeking to better understand the actionable information flowing on their networks, advocates of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other integrated technologies have done a terrific job of selling utilities on the value of smart devices. But a persistent question nags: What is your strategy for managing your network?


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