Australia: To effectively implement Smart Grid, it is critical that utilities leverage location intelligence by having a fully-functioning and well-prepared Enterprise GIS, according to ESRI Australia’s Managing Director Brett Bundock.
Bundock said, “Smart Grid represents the future of electric power networks. It will transform the face and the operation of utilities and Enterprise GIS is important in the promotion, planning, management and operation of a Smart Grid. The location intelligence capability delivered by GIS enables successful data management, planning and analysis, workforce automation and situational awareness. Enterprise GIS allows one common, organisation-wide system for staff to view and share current data on infrastructure, operations and activities. Utilities will need their existing GIS as well as additional GIS capabilities once Smart Grid implementation becomes widespread.”
The concept of a Smart Grid is fast becoming a reality in Australia, with the federal government’s USD 100 million Smart Grid Smart City project set to make Newcastle Australia’s first ‘smart’ city.
Smart Grid is a strategy for transforming Australia’s electric power grid with advanced communications, automated controls and other forms of information technology.
There are three main drivers behind the concept: reducing green house gas emissions; giving customers price signals and integrating alternative energy.
It operates on a system of smart meters which relay information and data between the consumer and the electricity provider. This complex communication network is then layered onto the electric network, so GIS becomes vital to data management.
“With a Smart Grid, it is imperative for utilities to have a comprehensive operational awareness, which is made possible with GIS. In order to make informed decisions about key issues like managing meters and customers and incorporating renewable energy, utilities will need to be fully equipped with a location intelligent view of their business. This is important from an administrative point of view, but also for those working in the field, who will rely on GIS for installing the metering infrastructure and staying abreast of current data,” added Bundock.
“Smart Grid is here to stay and ESRI Australia’s location intelligence solutions will assist utilities to meet the challenge of changing infrastructure and gain competitive advantage,” continued Bundock.
Source: ESRI Australia