Utilities are under pressure to optimize costs and improve service by driving operational efficiencies and improving performance. In order to do this, Utilities must understand asset performance and power flow at a granular level compared to the current aggregated view of power flows and assets. In addition, the granular view helps better anticipate, manage, control and optimize the grid. In this blog I have tried to explore the business drivers that have led utilities to take advantage of the advancements in digital grid technologies to modernize the power grid by deploying smart devices.
Regulated Utilities of today will have to meet complex policy compliance as mandated by local and federal regulating bodies (NERC. FERC etc.). Regulators are now demanding increased energy conversation targets and utilities will have to think differently and meet these requirements. In order to achieve these targets, utilities must entice the customers to voluntarily participate in energy saving programs, using creative methods, techniques and tools. Traditional utility focusses on customer as a rate payer and customer satisfaction is mostly a secondary measure that drivers the business performance. The new age customers want to rate the utility by understanding multiple dimensions of a day to day personalized services, including quality, reliability, responsiveness, cost and resiliency.
These demands have re-positioned the rate payer as an active participant customer and pushed the utilities to be more market and customer centric. In order to meet emerging customer expectations utilities must advance to understand customer scorecards portraying personalized service levels. These emerging business challenges have led utilities to take advantage of the advancements in digital grid technologies to modernize the power grid.
Utilities are fast deploying smart devices to optimize operating constraints, understand the micro dynamics to better manage and control the grid. In parallel, utilities are moving towards advanced grid automation that enables detection, self-correction and remediation of problems, in real time. Such digital devices provide a real time view of the operations and the associated data enables advanced analytics to address customer satisfaction, security, energy conservation and a plethora business challenges currently faced by utilities. However utilities must be prepared to address and overcome the following challenges to successfully deploy an enterprise analytic program.
- Making business sense out of high speed grid data
- Executive alignment
- Analytical culture
- Advance innovation
The deployment of digital devices will enable Utilities to drive operational efficiency by employing innovation and analytics.
In my next and concluding part 2 of the blog I will further explore the above challenges and also establish the recommendations to take complete advantage of analytics programs.