Black & Veatch (News - Alert), an employee-owned, company in building Critical Human Infrastructure(TM) in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services has offered the new Strategic Directions: Utility Automation & Integration report.
This report showcases many of the general issues like cyberattacks to rooftop solar and energy storage, regulatory reform that utilities of all types face with regard to adding greater levels of intelligence to their network operations.
The report finds out that with expanded automated metering infrastructure (AMI), approximately 50 percent of utilities showed plans to implement advanced automation technologies in the next five years. However, these solutions are meant to enhance operations, reduce costs, and increase reliability. In addition,
Martin Travers, President of Black & Veatch's Telecommunications Division said in a statement, “Most utilities are clearly identifying that automation solutions are their greatest opportunity to capture value from their capital investments and operational expenses. Another emerging trend is the rising interest in analytics as both a monitoring and diagnostic tool and an adaptive planning tool to evaluate long-term plans for their operations.”
The key findings of the report include many utilities will leverage public carrier networks to support AMI programs while mission critical functions run over their own private networks. The report finds out that recruiting challenges and an aging workforce that will force utilities to consider telecom outsourcing. In addition, market pressures for staff and the rapid pace of technology is heading to more utilities to look at outsourcing the engineering and O&M of their private networks.
The report says that Data analytics and management programs will generate new ways for utilities to integrate real-time knowledge.
Paul Miller (News - Alert), Vice President of Black & Veatch's Private Networks business line, said, "Metering, automation and data analytics are changing how utilities approach their customers and their businesses. And it's a robust telecom backbone that enables the full value of these ongoing and future smart grid investments.