Grid Modernization Starts with Telecommunications
- Sep 29, 2021 2:14 am GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2021-09 - LTE Networks, click here for more
What do you think of when you hear grid modernization? Most likely you think of rooftop solar or community solar farms, wind turbines, battery storage, electric vehicles, and the like. What you probably don’t think of is telecommunications. All of the items mentioned above have one thing in common, they all need telecommunications in order to make them useful to a utility. Telecommunications underpins grid modernization.
For decades, utilities used telecommunications networks for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Land Mobile Radio (LMR), which were typically either hardwired with copper leased circuits or low-speed, narrowband wireless radio frequency (RF) channels that utilities could lease inexpensively from the FCC. As utilities and technologies evolved, some utilities deployed fiber to major assets, such as substations, and began deploying smart devices on the distribution grid all the way from the substation to the residential meter. In addition, Distributed Energy Resources (DER) devices such as solar and wind became prevalent and the grid began to change. With those changes came an exponential increase in how much data was available, particularly from the grid edge which typically needed wireless communications solutions making legacy telecommunications systems of utilities’ past no longer adequate.
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