Survey: US Utilities lack expertise to implement grid modernisation strategies

June 12, 2018

Results from the 2018 BRIDGE Index Utility Industry grid modernisation Survey have been released and indicate a dramatic increase in organisations developing grid modernisation plans, 73% vs. 52% from the company’s 2017 survey.

However, consensus as to what defines a “modernisation component” remains fractured.

BRIDGE Energy Group’s annual survey results remain one of the best sources for validating how North American utilities are embracing grid modernisation, as well as the impacts from security and resource challenges.

This year’s benchmark of grid modernisation adoption shows companies are debating new business models such as exploring performance-based regulation of traditional delivery or having an affiliate company provide unregulated services.

Sandy Simon, vice president at BRIDGE Energy Group, cautions that while new business models will bring new opportunities, they also bring significant unknowns.

“Utilities need to focus on foundational elements of their grid modernisation strategy to help prioritise the selection and implementation of advanced grid technologies that best-fit their vision,” says Simon.

“To successfully do this, utilities will need to leverage outside resources familiar with the potential issues as well as the IT and OT factors unique to the utility industry.”

Additional survey results indicate:

  • 58% of those surveyed view their number one grid modernisation objective as improving grid reliability and resilience
  • Analytics is the top “project” to undertake in the coming 24 months
  • A lack of staff with the correct skill set continues to impede successful grid modernisation projects.

The survey reaches over 20,000 utility executives, managers and engineers in North America.

Download the survey results here