IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014 - 56

Real-Time Simulation and Contingency Analysis
Distributed Generation and Alternate Energy Sources
Self-Healing Wide-Area Protection and Islanding
Asset Management and Online Equipment Monitoring
Demand Response and Dynamic Pricing
Participation in Energy Markets

figure 2. A smart grid functional integration map.

"end to end" or for all capabilities. different smart grid functions require the integration of different assets, with different
capabilities and different requirements. as such, a smart grid
integration map must adhere closely to the utility's strategic
road map and to the intended smart grid functionalities that
need to be enabled in each stage of development.
in practice, smart grid integration has taken many
twists and turns. it is unlikely that north american utilities have followed similar modalities and approaches to
smart grid integration. it is more logical to assume that
each utility has taken a unique path toward implementing
its smart grid plans.

Early Integration Attempts
given the fact that the electricity distribution network in almost
all the jurisdictions across north america had long been overdue for a major overhaul, the first step many utilities took in
smart grid integration consisted of limited rollouts of "one-way"
automated meter reading (amr); this was followed by major
investments in "two-way" ami. as Figure 3 suggests, the overwhelming justification for investments in ami was its enabling
role in facilitating the move toward an eventual realization of
smart grid functions. that understanding convinced many utilities in north america to plan for major smart metering investments. many projects were announced, and pilots sprang up
across the continent. in the absence of a well-formulated smart
grid integration plan specifying how smart metering would actually lead to a smart grid, pilot project evaluations focused on the
requirements for smart metering rather than its forward compliance with future smart grid functions. as such, most pilots were
perceived to be "successful," resulting in substantial follow-on
investments in smart-metering projects.
56

ieee power & energy magazine

as the full cost of ownership of ami systems became
clear, however, and given regulatory constraints-and in
the absence of clear revenue models-utilities found it
increasingly difficult to justify ami capital expenditures.
in addition to the less-than-convincing cost-benefit models
for ami, the consumer backlash against smart metering
slowed down ami rollouts in many jurisdictions across
north america. the absence of clear smart grid road maps
and utilities' unconvincing arguments in favor of smart
metering prompted many experts in the field to express
doubts about the entire rationale for ami; many questioned whether or not the smart grid was being integrated
backwards. Some, for instance, suggested that return on
investments (rois) would be more palatable if distribution substations were automated first. others pointed to the
need to start at the top, upgrading the utility's enterprise
applications in the back office and on the enterprise bus
before attempting to invest at the bottom of the chain.
the fact of the matter is that all those questions were very
valid. and the reason why such doubts were being expressed
had everything to do with the absence of a utility smart grid
integration map that would have demonstrated how ami
was going to be leveraged to gradually upgrade the functional capabilities of the grid. in "the Path of the Smart
grid" [ieEE Power & Energy Magazine, January 2010],
an early attempt to demonstrate linkages between technologies and capabilities along the path from smart metering to the smart grid was presented. in Figure 3, the author
argued that ami would have to be perceived as an enabling
platform for two-way communication and distributed command and control among all previously "unmonitored and
uncontrolled" components of the distribution system. the
may/june 2014



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2014

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