Utility Companies Should Aim for Flexible Network Solutions for Long Term Success

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As the global push towards sustainable energy practices intensifies, utility companies face the monumental task of modernizing their grids to accommodate new technologies and increasing demand. The challenge lies not just in the adoption of new technologies but in choosing the right network solutions that align with their specific modernization goals. 

How can utility companies effectively navigate the plethora of network solutions available to best meet their modernization objectives?

Experts Nick Tumilowicz, Director of Product Management at Itron, and Dr. Dominique Meyer, CEO of Looq AI, shared some information about the flexibility that is required for utilities to succeed. Discussing this for an Experts Talk roundtable on grid modernization and the responsibilities utilities providers have, they described how important adaptable network solutions are in achieving long-term sustainability and operational goals.

Key takeaways from their discussion emphasized that:

  • Utilities must maintain flexibility in their choice of network solutions to adapt to changing technologies and goals.
  • The shift towards advanced Gen X mesh networks with higher broadband throughput allows for more robust data management and operational efficiency.
  • Integrating distributed intelligence through mesh networks and both private and public LTE can significantly enhance the utilities’ operational capabilities.
  • The maintenance and upgrade of sensors in hard-to-access utilities, such as underground systems, require careful planning given their high costs and long lifespan.
  • There is a growing need for collaboration between the electric and communication sectors to ensure effective information sharing and problem-solving, particularly in managing underground and overhead faults.

Their analysis provides a roadmap for utility companies as they confront the complexities of grid modernization, and the importance of flexibility and advanced network solutions in the face of varying demands.

Article by Alexandra Simon.

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