The utilities industry is attempting to leverage a plethora of generating assets, transmission and distribution system equipment, and smart meters connected to the grid, creating large amounts of data. However, the IoT has invaded their space, according to Navigant Research.
Legacy IoT analytics solutions, software tools, and control systems used to analyze data and keep electricity flowing are becoming outdated with the emergence of cloud computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI).
“Many of the tools are outdated, sit in silos, and were never designed for the complexities of today’s smart grid,” says Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “More advanced utility IoT analytics solutions have entered the market and can be applied to legacy systems and new data flows using edge computing, cloud computing, machine learning, and AI to unlock valuable insights and drive operational efficiencies.”
According to the report, utilities should embrace IoT analytics solutions even though the solutions have yet to fully mature, as they can help cut costs while demand is flat or declining.
With IoT technologies, disparate systems can also operate on the internet and integrate data for enhanced business value. In addition, advanced analytics are needed as more distributed energy resources, like solar PV, come online and create two-way energy flows on a grid that was not designed that way.