Smart Grid Study Identifies Utility Hurdles

Redlands, California — August 19, 2010 — U.S. utilities must correct, update, and integrate customer and infrastructure data before a smart grid can be effectively implemented, according to a benchmark study conducted by Esri. The smart grid, a popular plan to add communication and computer technology to electric networks, promises to make energy cleaner and more reliable.

Of the 226 study respondents, 71 percent view geographic information system (GIS) technology as strategic to the smart grid; the remaining 29 percent believe GIS plays a significant role. According to the study, utilities report a lag time of up to 90 days to move data from the field into the GIS. Data accuracy is reportedly spotty, and data is either incomplete or not GPS accurate.

Utility operators will need GIS for crucial smart grid requirements such as collecting and updating data and managing the installation of smart meters and sensors. GIS is also seen as a critical tool for analyzing energy consumption and incorporating renewable energy resources.

"Simply put, GIS facilitates the building and operation of a smart grid," said Bill Meehan, utility solutions director for GIS software company Esri. "However, many utilities in the United States acknowledge that the data in their GIS is not ready for the smart grid. Without accurate data and GIS for monitoring things like demand response and consumer behavior, the smart grid may not live up to its lofty expectations."

To view study results, watch the video, and learn more about the role of GIS in the smart grid, visit www.esri.com/smartgridstudy.

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news.


Contact:

Jessica Wyland, Esri
Tel.: 909-793-2853, extension 1-3345
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