The smart grid, also referred to as the intelligent grid, offers much promise for electricity utilities and has changed the way industry vendors market their technologies. Utilities see the smart grid as a way to improve load management, offer better customer service and more efficient operation, but it is the latter promise where they believe the value is truly quantifiable, industry research firm Chartwell Inc. reveals in its latest report, Smart Grid: How Utilities View the Grid of the Future.
This is one of many findings Chartwell uncovered in its recent research on the smart grid. Chartwell interviewed 22 utilities to learn how utilities define the smart grid and their plans for implementation.
"That the utilities we surveyed see more value in operational benefits as opposed to load curtailment benefits is surprising. However, this probably has a lot to do with the fact that at this point, accurately quantifying load curtailment benefits on a large scale is difficult because there are few examples to look at," Mark Hall, Chartwell's metering research analyst, says. "Still, based on our industry observations, load curtailment is already playing a significant role in smart grid implementations."
For this study, Chartwell surveyed and interviewed directors, managers and front-line personnel, which included technology and business experts at some of the nation's top utilities.
Smart Grid: How Utilities View the Grid of the Future includes more than 30 pages of Chartwell analyses, highlights of individual surveys and case studies on Duke Energy, Xcel Energy and Southern California Edison.