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Press Release

Utility sector invests in grid modernisation to bolster network resilience

Mon 26 Feb 2024

Utilities are actively investing in advanced weather prediction tools, renewable energy integration, and grid modernisation to bolster network resilience against power outages caused by extreme weather and climate-related disasters.

Research by Wi-SUN Alliance underlines the growing importance of innovative tools and technologies in improving outage recovery times as environmental challenges become more frequent.

Innovations Driving Network Resilience and Recovery

The survey, targeting senior professionals in utilities and power sectors, revealed that 41% view advanced weather prediction as the top initiative for enhancing network resilience, closely followed by renewable energy integration (41%) and grid modernisation including microgrids (39%).

New approaches like predictive maintenance analytics (40%), smart grid technologies (39%), and enhanced communications (34%) are being adopted to improve outage recovery times, with drones and robotics also playing a role in asset inspection (31%).

Phil Beecher, President and CEO of Wi-SUN Alliance, emphasised the shift in perception of extreme weather events from rare occurrences to expected risks for utility companies.

“The emergence of smart grids, microgrids, and other technologies offers a way of controlling costs while increasing resilience and stability,” said Beecher. He also highlighted the crucial role of reliable and secure communications networks in delivering smart grid capabilities.

Cybersecurity: A Top Priority for Future Investment

The research further indicates that cybersecurity remains a top priority for utilities, with 41% of respondents citing security enhancement as a key strategic initiative for the next five years.

This focus on cybersecurity is essential for enhancing interoperability and connectivity in large-scale IoT applications across smart utilities and cities.

Jeff Scheb, Director of Solutions and Systems Architecture at Landis+Gyr, a Wi-SUN Promoter member, pointed out the importance of a layered security approach across utility networks.

“Enhancing cybersecurity across utility networks continues to be a key priority for future investment. That security focus extends from the customer grid-edge to the Field Area Network, to the substation, and ultimately to the data centre. An authentic layered approach to security is a must,” said Scheb.

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