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Reaping maximum value from smart grids begins with smart design and deployment

The term ‘smart grid’ itself suggests that deploying intelligent infrastructure necessarily must be better than continuing to use existing infrastructure: don’t be dumb; deploy a smart grid. As utility companies are learning from various smart-grid deployments, however, the value to be gained by deploying a smart grid is highly dependent upon both the design and the deployment of the infrastructure upgrades. Like any tool, a smart grid is only beneficial if it is used correctly to achieve a specific and obtainable goal.

The promise of smart grids lies in the ability to gather more detailed data about the performance of the utility network and to permit much greater control — by both consumers and the utility — of the utility network. Of course, these benefits are even greater for smart grids that are designed to be flexible so that the utility can efficiently adapt to changes over time…

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