Utilities Need a Network-Centric, Future-Proof Approach to their Communications Strategy

A high-bandwidth, low-latency Energy Superhighway could result in significant economic gains

A new white paper from Navigant Research provides a far-reaching view of the connectivity needs of electric utilities, exploring approaches and technologies, with case studies of projects designed to develop an Energy Superhighway.

The utility’s traditional role as the sole regional provider of electric power is evolving into one where the grid is a critical, two-way network for energy services, such as integrated solar and wind, transactive energy markets, microgrids, and other disruptive technologies. As the electric grid transforms, the importance of an Energy Superhighway—a low-latency communications backbone that will be necessary to support the many software- and hardware-based systems that will ultimately power the Energy Cloud—is expected to grow exponentially. Click to tweet: According to a new white paper from @NavigantRSRCH, utilities will increasingly depend on the Energy Superhighway to evolve with the industry and to drive industry evolution.

“In order to support the energy services-based paradigm of the Energy Cloud, utilities will need a holistic, network-centric approach to connectivity throughout their territories,” says Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “This Energy Superhighway is the backbone upon which they will deliver energy services, integrate distributed resources, participate in transactive energy markets, and more.”

The Energy Superhighway is expected to allow utilities to evolve with the energy industry and to possibly drive its evolution, according to the report. Comparable to the buildout of the U.S. Interstate Highway System in the 1950s, massive economic growth is a possible outcome of a concerted effort to develop the Energy Superhighway.

This white paper, Communications in the Energy Cloud, provides a far-reaching view of the connectivity needs of electric utilities—today and tomorrow. The report examines the reasons why a network-centric approach—rather than a silo-based, application-centric strategy—is imperative for power utilities today. It also explores which connectivity technologies are best positioned to be future-proof and provides several case studies of visionary utility projects designed to develop the Energy Superhighway. Each of the topics in this white paper is examined more deeply in research reports and ongoing research from Navigant Research’s Grid Networking and Communications Research Service. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Contact: Lindsay Lorenz



* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Communications in the Energy Cloud, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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