Smart substations accelerating grid modernization

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Grid modernization is accelerating due to the convergence of key technology developments, stronger business cases, and growing regulatory acceptance, and increasingly automated and intelligent substations will play a critical role.

In fact, according to Pike Research, in 2012 more than 10,000 substations globally will be automated, including new construction and retrofits of existing facilities, exceeding 20,000 annually by 2020. This will make for a cumulative total of nearly 150,000 substations automated or retrofitted from 2012 to 2020.

"Key challenges such as outage management and recovery, increasingly complex system operations, and equipment management all suggest real growth in the coming years in the market for next-generation substation intelligence and data management," said Pike Senior Research Director Bob Gohn. "While the trend toward infrastructure modernization will continue, growth will inevitably begin to decelerate somewhat over time as automation technologies reach a high level of installed base penetration."

Integrating remote monitoring and control of substation equipment can leverage other smart grid technologies, such as distribution automation systems, smart metering, and advanced data analytics software, but it is still early in the evolution of these applications.

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