Energy TransitionNov 06, 2023
A key component of the energy transition is to build on the foundation that some smart metering systems can provide. We are starting to see a trend toward leveraging smart metering investments beyond core billing applications where Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Systems can also be utilized for:
- Load conservation
- Demand management
- Loss reduction
- Renewables and distributed generation integration
- Low voltage network monitoring
- Phase balancing
- Transformer optimization
- Outage and restoration management
- Energy pricing and payment options
- Ability to address other energy transition concerns
For two decades, the industry has been promoting the smart energy. However, most utilities, due to regulation, policy, and other business issues, have not appropriately acted and prepared for this. They are not ready for this transition, and unfortunately, this situation does not have a quick fix. Consumers, communities, and businesses in many countries have invested in distributed generation and renewables, such as solar or wind generation, but many distribution networks simply do not have the capacity and/or intelligence to manage integration with distributed generation. As a result, knowledge is key in driving the smart energy transition
Smart metering systems can help improve reliability and address low-voltage network issues. While many DSOs have installed smart meters, they implemented their system mainly for meter reading and billing support, not to provide insight into the distribution grid. In addition, not all smart metering systems are able to provide visibility and intelligence about the energy flows and power quality information associated with the distribution network.
The NES smart metering system is one solution that can provide the needed advanced intelligence and functionality for this energy transition. DSOs that have deployed the NES AMI System can use smart meters as intelligent low-voltage distribution sensors providing extensive data and statistics about energy flows and power quality data. This includes detailed information about grid topology, power outages, equipment failures, transformer and phase imbalances, import and export energy flows, power quality data, and much more.
The NES System can utilize this data to highlight trends and identify changes in the grid before they become a problem, as well as help consumers better manage their energy use and costs. The solution can also provide visibility of the low-voltage grid topology and connectivity, as well as deliver measurements from within the low-voltage grid.
With the availability of information from the low-voltage grid, NES smart grid applications can process and analyze this information and provide timely actionable insight. This grid visibility and information can be used by DSOs to better prepare for the smart energy transition, as well as improve operational processes and have a positive impact on the quality of service for their consumers.
Larry Colton - Director of International Business Development and Government Affairs at NES