As utilities move to smart grids, technology vendors are becoming more experienced at providing better technology solutions despite the problems that come with implementing smart grids. Utilities can help reduce these issues with proper planning and counsel.
Fremont, CA: Utilities know the various intricate complexities of ensuring that there is power to the gird to enable lights to turn on when expected. Utilities depend on smart grids to assess and meet the customers' demands, decrease power plant costs, and analyze customer demand and billing data in real-time.
Here are four misunderstood risks of smart grids from a legal perspective.
Smart Grids are a Complex and Long-Term Investment
Smart grids' hardware and software systems will need maintenance and replacement throughout the lifecycle of the smart grid. But implementing contractual protections like warranties are controversial topics with regards to smart grids because it consists of various vendors who want to take on as less liability as possible.
Utilities Need to Provide a Significant Workforce
Utilities need to give a large amount of its workforce when it comes to smart grids. In many cases, there are four to 10 people in a smart grid team that consists mainly of internal utility employees. The number of times the smart grid project will consume for each of those individuals can be different, but it often includes a significant part of their everyday work for years.
Smart Grids are Not an Easy Business Decision
Utilities are skilled in managing large purchases and construction projects like obtaining expensive copper wire and transformers and handling infrastructure. But utilities do not have much expertise when it comes to large scale technology and software deployment.
A utility to implement a smart grid often takes over two years from planning to contract process even with the help of experienced consultants and lawyers specialized in smart grid and extensive technology utilization. The whole process is time-consuming no matter how well a utility plans out.
Smart grid components in the marketplace come from multiple vendors, and there is no one-stop-shop to obtain all the parts. Vendors have their sets of strengths and weaknesses, and utilities need to understand the cooperation that these vendors need to work together on the smart grid implementation.