Electric Cooperatives Must Have Smart Electric Distribution Grids With Fiber to the Meter Communication
- Jun 24, 2020 9:34 pm GMTJun 24, 2020 7:42 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2020-06 - Grid Modernization, click here for more
The U.S. electric utility industry is undergoing revolutionary technological, economic, structural and institutional change. The century-old electric utility grid model, with its monolithic, centralized generation and transmission infrastructure and cost-plus monopoly business model is rapidly eroding. Disruptive new energy technologies and new market participants are reshaping the grid. This in turn is making planning, operations, maintenance and management of the electric grid more complex. This is particularly true for electric distribution system operators because that is where distributed energy resources (DERs) are rapidly proliferating. Although DERs pose operational challenges, if properly managed they can help make the grid more economical, sustainable and resilient. For distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) to work acceptably, there will have to be real time grid monitoring, analytics and control. Just as is required for bulk electric system SCADA, DERMs will require fiber optic communications.