The Grid is a part of our every day lives, so innovative technology for industries in the business of energy and basic utilities must be extremely reliable and secure. While technology can be testable in some other industries, utility companies cannot afford that flexibility. Technologies that reduce costs, increase efficiency, allow for real-time decision-making and improve performance remain top priorities.
Utility Tech Trends
- Management Software for Distributed Energy Resources: These platforms enable better management and ensure quicker responses in grid performance. Utilities need robust software to manage microsecond decisions about the variability and demand for electricity sources, for example.
- Lower LiDAR Costs: “Light” and “Radar” equipment that captures and converts data into 3D imagery will enable utilities to capture 3D data of trees and other vegetation close to wires and lines. They can then plan ahead and trim vegetation and avoid unexpected outage costs.
- Energy Storage: Offers a range of types of batteries to pumped hydroelectric systems to underground air-compressed storage. All storage equipment is able to power and distribute energy when and where it’s most needed.
- Utility Cloud Technology: Allow utility companies to optimize grid operations and customer experiences while collecting the data the Grid produces. Technology partnerships will free utilities to concentrate on grid management and customer relationships.
- Cloud-Based Web Security: Utilities may be adopting this form of web security more rapidly than other industries as a response to the number of security breaches they’ve experienced and the pressure to protect against the possibility of terrorists.
- Integrated IT and Operation Solutions: Will become more comprehensive with smart grids. This modernization and growth depends on how well IT and utility operational technologies develop together to meet new regulations and standards.
- Big Data: Will play a central role in building and running more efficient energy grids that include solar, storage, smart meters, demand and response and how well each system performs and interacts with the rest of the grid.
- Renewable Forecasting Technology: Companies will use machine learning, big data, and analytics to assess and improve solar forecasts. By increasing the accuracy of forecasts, utilities can operate more efficiently and increase the use of renewable energy as a mainstream energy option.
- Mobile Technology: A Wipro survey revealed that about 40% of U.S. utility companies support customer self-service on mobile phones. Besides the ability to pay bills at any time, apps facilitate quicker communication between customers and the utility, enable multiple channel engagement and can speed up the process of changing services. Deeper integration can include the possibility of an app alerting customers to peak service hours to help reduce their bills.
How Digital West Can Help
Digital West has IT services, consultation and infrastructure resources to take you where you want to go. Our data center is SOC 2 Type 2 certified and our rigid security standards protect your business data. Our ultra-high-speed fiber optic Internet is extremely reliable and designed to quickly and securely deliver even the most sensitive data, and you can count on our live, local Customer Service Team to be there when you need them. Here are four of our most popular programs for utility companies:
If you have three or more locations, we recommend our Complete Program. We’ll help with network design, cloud storage and planning your IT infrastructure. And that’s just the start.
According to Cisco, 56% of IT security professionals in utilities say they use cloud-based web security, compared to 36% in other industries. In order to meet their strict security standards and policies, utilitites have turned to Digital West to create a secure private network. We’ll also scan your systems for vulnerabilities, upgrade your hardware, and proactively monitor your network for malicious activity.
45% of U.S. utilities use the cloud, 52% say they are planning on it, according to Oracle. Digital West uses the most sophisticated software available to manage backups of your desktops, laptops, file servers, as well as Exchange, SQL and other complex databases. You can take advantage of our colocation facilities and virtual resource pool to scale your resources up and down quickly. We enable utility clients to meet compliance standards, maintain strong network security, and sleep soundly at night knowing their data is stored and backed up nightly.
Oil and gas companies epresent the second largest application area for fiber optics, and usage is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% by 2019, according to MarketsandMarkets. Digital West has been investing in the technology infrastructure of California’s Central Coast by developing the area’s only pure fiber optic network. This network provides area utilities Internet speeds from 50 Mbps to 10 GigE. We also connect businesses to fiber elsewhere in California, New York and beyond.