Most developed countries in the West have set goals of implementing smart grid technology and deploying smart meters by 2020. By all accounts the rollout has been relatively successful, and solutions as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)) for smart grid applications are being offered by service providers. The GE Grid IQ SaaS that was deployed in 2011 is nearing capacity at its data center and IT assets it built for this solution. According to a report by Jeff St. John on greentechmedia, a GE official for Grid IQ stated the SaaS platform is close to 75 percent subscribed and expects to be over-subscribed in the near future.
With a market value of billions of dollars globally, smart grid SaaS is being addressed by players from many different industries. The solution GE provides addresses all of the major points municipalities are looking for in order to increase the efficiency of their power utility companies and give their customers improved access and services.
The Grid IQ SaaS gives utilities an affordable platform that simplifies the integration process of smart grid technology. Grid IQ provides a subscription-based hosted smart grid services packages by using GE- owned Smart Grid software and hardware technologies, meters and metering services, AMI, meter data management, pre-payment Outage Management System (OMS), Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Geospatial Information System (GIS).
With this solution GE provides a flexible implementation by assuming the integration, technology, and upfront financial risks. This includes the option of ownership of both hardware and software by the company. Additionally it will manage the IT infrastructure, hosted data center, AMI network, meters, and software based upon Service Level Agreements (SLA's) with updates and maintenance to eliminate the chance of any technology obsolescence.
Some of the benefits of this platform include:
- Advanced insight into grid data to reduce outages and provide new revenue-generating services
- Integrated visualization control of current, past and potential future grid challenges allowing for enhanced reliability and predictive diagnostics
- Maximize operational choices to improve safety and security and build a business case for future investments
- Enhanced reliability leading to higher customer satisfaction and smarter decisions
By providing real-time view of their operations, utilities will be able to gain better understanding of the entire infrastructure to improve reliability and efficiency with proactive planning.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker