Zpryme Survey Survey Says: Utilities Face Need for Solutions to Renewable Integration Technical Challenges

Zpryme Renewables - Solar-Wind EnergyNewsBeat.com

Energy News Beat Publishers (ENB): Excellent survey from Zpryme on the electrical grid situation in the United States. 

As regulatory mandates and customer expectations to modernize the electric grid accelerate, solar and wind power generation, coupled with energy storage, have become viable, even desirable, components of grid stabilization efforts. However, measuring and managing this new bi-directional flow of voltages and currents in the traditionally uni-directional grid presents a major technical challenge to utilities. Micatu, Inc. recently partnered with Zpryme in a survey of over 100 utilities to gauge the status of challenges associated with burgeoning renewable integration.

whitepaper based on survey results provides compelling insight into the technical complexity utilities face as they move to integrate intermittent renewable energy generation technologies onto their infrastructure.

Zpryme survey findings indicate that while 43% of respondents have initiated some renewable integration, and while backfeed is a safety concern for 48% of respondents, 82% do not currently monitor backfeed. Yet 77% state that employee and environmental safety are major concerns with renewable integration. Also, 51% of respondents believe that integration of power measurement and management systems with their IT systems is a major challenge. Thus, it appears from survey results, latent demand exists for new tools to assist with the integration effort.

(Credit: Zpryme)

Digital sensing, control, and data gathering devices have worked their way into every nook and cranny of the industrial landscape. Managing and analyzing all that data in a useful way has been a major obstacle to realizing the full potential of what the data can offer organizations like utilities.

The good news is that data science and analytics have now matured and refined into specific niches like the electric industry, providing visibility into, and management of, previously non-existent technological challenges such as renewable integration. In the utility world, specifically, this means that power measurement and management can now detect real–time power quality characteristics, a capability that promises to greatly assist renewable integration.

Micatu’s optical sensing Gridview package appears to be a worthy offering in the rapidly evolving grid modernization effort.

By Mike Albrecht, Zpryme

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