Many smart grid programmes focus on delivering one key capability – smart metering, for example. As they move forward, these programmes must undertake numerous, potentially complex integration projects as further capabilities are added incrementally. An alternative is to take a more top-down approach and use an open architecture or framework, into which it is possible to integrate capabilities as they are identified or required – with lower complexity, lower risk and lower cost.
There are diverse and inconsistent views regarding what the “smart grid” is, how it will evolve over time and what benefits it will deliver. However one thing is clear: the electricity sector will be transformed as it seeks to respond to security of supply, sustainability and affordability drivers.
As evolution progresses, power network operators will be required to assimilate a broad spectrum of new technologies and do so in circumstances they have not experienced before. New business models will emerge and operations models must respond. More data will be available but there will be a significant challenge in transforming it into useful information. Change will occur at an accelerating rate as momentum toward the smarter grid is gained.
In addition there will be a growing requirement for established players to work with each other and with new and emerging entrants. Automation and sophisticated decision support will be increasingly important. The business, technical and operations environments will be characterised by complexity and uncertainty. The impact of policy and regulation will continue to be a key factor.
A well conceived open ICT architecture responds directly to the challenges of complexity and uncertainty. It provides an integration framework for implementation of solutions that focus on the control, operation, management and administration of the power network and the services it enables. Applying such an approach early will mitigate risk, lower costs and accelerate deployment of new technologies as evolution advances. The architecture assists in taking a whole system view. It will also facilitate migration from today’s mode of centralised operation to future modes of more distributed operation.
Grid Scientific supports the definition, design, development and deployment of the systems and applications that manage networks and services, and enable operations improvement and change. We are independent and advocate the principles of open architecture and use of a broad, multi-vendor portfolio of solution components. Our objective is to realise solutions that satisfy individual customer requirements, whilst delivering innovation and adhering to industry best practice.