America's electric companies are investing more than $100 billion each year in smarter energy infrastructure for the benefit of their customers. The Institute for Electric Innovation's (IEI's) latest whitepaper, Grid Modernization Technologies: Key Drivers of a Smarter Energy Future, released today (5/18), discusses electric company investments in grid modernization technologies from the substation to the customer meter - largely digital technologies that are the building blocks of the future energy grid.
Grid modernization is unfolding state-by-state - at different paces and in different ways - through investments in smarter energy infrastructure. Grid modernization is being driven by the need to:
- enhance resiliency, reliability, and security;
- integrate and manage distributed energy resources (DERs); and
- improve grid efficiency and optimization.
"The electric power industry is making large investments in technologies that are delivering the many benefits of smarter energy infrastructure to customers and improving the way we use energy," said Edison Foundation Vice President and IEI Executive Director Lisa Wood. "The electric power industry is leading a profound transformation, and it's important that policy makers, regulators, customers, and other stakeholders have an understanding of what's involved and what our energy future can look like."
Smarter energy infrastructure gives customers greater control and flexibility over their energy use. It allows electric companies to respond to and fix outages more quickly, connect more clean energy sources efficiently, and better secure energy infrastructure against cyber and physical security threats, including natural disasters. The whitepaper explains how investments in the following technology categories make this possible:
- Smart Meters: Electric companies have installed more than 70 million smart meters, covering 55 percent of all U.S. households, to help improve reliability, resiliency, and services for customers.
- Power Flow Management Technologies: New energy grid technologies enable DER integration, assist in energy grid optimization, and provide grid-edge visibility and diagnostics.
- Distribution Automation and Outage Management Technologies: Advanced software systems are integrating existing and new systems and technologies for more intelligent energy grid operations, improving customer service, and reliability and resiliency.
The whitepaper is available here.
The Institute for Electric Innovation focuses on advancing the adoption and application of new technologies that will strengthen and transform the energy grid. The Institute's members are the investor-owned electric companies that represent about 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry, as well as a select group of technology companies on its Technology Partner Roundtable. The membership is committed to an affordable, reliable, secure, and clean energy future. For more information, please visit www.EdisonFoundation.net.