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Future of Utility Communications

By Gerry Fox

Increasingly, electric utilities are deploying intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and other smart apparatus in substations and along distribution feeders as well as equipping field workers with laptop, tablet and handheld computers. Electric utilities are also installing specialized computers and software in substations plus enterprise software applications in their data centers to automate various facets of utility operations.

These technologies are often labeled smart grid. They enable valuable applications such as automated metering infrastructure (AMI), substation automation, distribution automation, outage management, automatic load shedding, and the ability to manage alternative energy sources. These applications enable vast improvements in utility efficiency, security and reliability.

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