At first glance, Freiamt, a small town in Baden-Wuerttemberg close to the French border, seems an unlikely location for the next step in the future of energy distribution. But thanks to forward-thinking decisions made over 20 years ago and the work of a project team consisting of nine energy market players, including the local utility provider Netze BW and Landis+Gyr, big things are happening.
The growth pace of the global Smart Grid as a Service (SGaaS) market is increasing as more and more utilities are turning to service-based delivery of smart grid operations. Multiple challenges, such as regulatory pressures, rising consumer expectations, and increasing complexity of the smart grid infrastructure to name a few, drive distribution system operators to embrace Managed Services as an opportunity to optimize their physical assets and business processes.
Reliable and efficient delivery of energy in a dynamic smart grid environment remains a number one priority for distribution system operators in Europe. Increased load and distributed generation make the existing energy network more vulnerable to shortages and grid congestion. However, monitoring transformer loads, and electric power quality help prevent incidents and protect utilities’ power distribution assets.
In October, Landis+Gyr announced a major milestone with the first ‘next generation’ UK smart meter installation for its customer British Gas. Using the latest technology, the new smart meters for electricity and gas enable seamless switching between suppliers and comply with the UK Government’s ground-breaking smart energy standard, SMETS2 ('smart metering equipment technical specifications 2’).
The Software as a Service (SaaS) model continues to gain traction among energy companies as they look for ways to adapt to increasingly complex and costly integrated application environments with shorter implementation cycles.