Why Internet Protocol must be the foundation of grid modernization


By Donald Pollock



Increased electricity demand, societal pressure for clean energy and the push for the renewables have put the focus on greater efficiency, increased grid visibility and improved control. Digital communications is a key enabler of those goals.


To get to grips with these grid imperatives, it is critical to remember the constants:

  • Technology will continue to change and evolve
  • The volume of data will continue to grow
  • Legacy assets will continue to be a significant part of the grid for years to come
  • Optimizing cost (of capital expense, implementation and operations) will continue to be a perennial need

The following three insights can help us grapple with those realities:

  1. Utility departments should look beyond their individual areas to pursue shared interests.
  2. Purpose-built, single-use networks duplicate assets and increase costs.
  3. Today’s lower cost proprietary solutions may well be tomorrow’s restrictive and inefficient problems.
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