Almost the same as the concept for smart grid that was introduced by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), “grid modernization” is prone to varying subjective opinion making it hard to define.
In addition to this, the operation and informational deployment of technology (OT/IT) grid modernization establishes on the former definitions for smart grid and comes with numerous underpinnings:
Resilience and reliability of grid – in cases of frequent severity of storms and occurrence. Its efficiency always includes the lowered feeder losses, improvisation for asset utilization, and increase in productivity of workforce.
The sustainability that must be supported through the integration of the renewable electrification and generation for transportation, that includes the demand to effectively manage the effect of different variable resources, bidirectional power flow, dispatch limitations, as well as the control for grid protection.
Operational effectivity is based on the knowledge of situational grid disturbances, workforce management, and asset conditions.
The effectivity of leveraging the different non-wire alternatives that are being distributed as one of the components for main energy resources as part of resource plants and several grid operations.
The engagement of different consumers includes the estimation of restoration times and outage notifications that gives access to data explaining the energy usage and the advanced response programs including the other expanded options for good energy management.
The current events and investments in the grid are being led by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, commonly referred to as the “stimulus”). These serves as one of the investment grants for the smart grid technologies. One of the main investment areas were the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) or smart meters. These are already for deployment that will give the capability for the infrastructure to have advanced demand response, and not metering. It will also have the efficiency for operations together with the on-demand reads and several remote disconnections and meter connections.
Once the initial wave of investment is over, the AMI funding sagged. However, the deployments have already started being picked up again together with the grid modernization. The value proposition for this has started to be expanded into power outage notification, thus making enhanced customer engagement with the readily available used data. It now leverages some of the strategic meters for several grid operations.
The Distribution automation or DA also benefited from the ARRA efforts for smart grid investment grants. However, these DA investments were superseded by the AMI. The continuous growth of the DA started the ARRA grants made the driven sustenance in surge of investment. Earlier, the DA projects are targeted to focus widely on the distribution of the SCADA systems and automated relation to direct load control. With this in mind, the industry started to move in a direction where there is graphics-based distribution control room operations together with the integration of the outage management functionality. The key player in this change was the establishment of a network model that is used for the distribution gird to readily support the simulation, an operator load flow, and some advanced applications.