While the benefits of the smart grid continue to become realized in the U.S., the commitment by utilities to further grid automation is already being felt to help minimize outage times, improve customer service, and managing capital costs. Zpryme recently interviewed U.S. thought leaders from Schneider Electric to share details on the smart grid, analytics, and the automation that ties all the energy-tech together.
[ZP] How does Schneider Electric view the smart grid?
[SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC] The Smart Grid combines Utility Energy and IT Infrastructure to integrate and inter-connect all Users (Generators, Operators, Marketers, Consumers, etc) to efficiently balance demand and supply over an increasingly complex network.
Schneider Electric is focused on helping make the electrical delivery system more efficient and reliable for the benefit of the utility, as well as including solutions to collaborate with demand-side loads for balancing the system. This includes solutions that integrate Distributed Energy Resources, enable and validate Energy Efficiency project, and Automated Demand Response – “from Control Center to Customer.”
At Schneider Electric our vision of Smart Grid encompasses five domains of expertise.
The Smart Generation domain focuses on enabling life extension of existing generation assets, reducing the cost of new renewable generation assets, and making those new renewable generation assets easy to deploy in a distributed manner, thus reducing the dependence on transmission facilities.
Growing end-user demands for reliability and power quality along with the proliferation of distributed energy resources requires a more flexible and resilient distribution network. The Flexible Distribution domain focuses on making the distribution safe, reliable, and secure while adding the flexibility to connect new resources.
End users of energy are becoming more interested in their energy portfolio as the cost of energy increases and their sustainability practices are more public. The Efficient Enterprise and Efficient Home domains focus on helping end users be more productive and efficient with their use of energy allowing some to become prosumers in the energy market.
Finally, connecting the supplier with the end user in a manner that provides smarter transactions, resulting in benefits for both parties is the focus of the Demand Response domain. This domain focuses on bringing the customer into the control center as a resource and a partner for the utility. Providing smarter transactions can enable the utility to move from an energy provider to a services provider.
These five domains of the Smarter Grid are the key focus areas for Schneider Electric products, services, and solutions.
Access the full interview here: Schneider Electric Q&A on Grid Automation, Zpryme Reports