US broadband and telecommunications company Verizon has launched a smart energy-as-a-service platform that will help investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities to modernise their infrastructure.
The smart energy-as-a-service platform known as 'Grid Wide Utility Solutions' supports cloud-based applications intended to help utility companies drive incremental revenue, reduce operating costs, increase efficiency and improve the customer experience.
The New York-based telecommunications company said the as-a-service model eliminates the need for utilities to design their own managed software solutions and do not need to replace existing energy meters.
The GridWide smart energy platform allows utilities to go further than just remote meter reading. According to Fierce Energy, the platform “lets utilities turn meters into "power-quality" sensors to help them understand the quality of the electricity they are delivering.”
The smart energy platform can be used to send smart meter data over Verizon’s wireless network, through its private network and then to Verizon's cloud environment.
GridWide offers utilities analytics dashboards to gather updated information on outages and abnormal usage patterns.
Further to this , when a power outage occurs - the smart meter communication card, using the stored energy on the circuit board and the Verizon’s LTE technology, will relay the information enabling utilities to pinpoint each outage and see how widespread it is.
Utility companies can also remotely disconnect and connect service, and avoid send out maintenance workers to address the grid malfunction.
Commenting on the slow uptake of grid digitization technologies, Jay Olearain, Verizon's director of business development for energy and utilities said, "they [utilities] are riding out earlier investments and minimizing expenses" and that that "is one of the biggest challenges in the utilities space today."