Information technology will be a key enabler for the transition to smarter grids, and the evolution of traditional network operators to more active Distribution System Operators (DSOs). It can also act as a barrier to change if network management systems are unable to keep pace with the speed of change elsewhere in the industry. In this blog, we explore some of the key IT related issues and challenges that the more active DSO will need to address.
Realising an active DSO model, involving dynamic interactions with network customers and the Transmission System Operator (TSO), will require the development and adoption of technologies not currently deployed on the distribution network or within the corporate and operational IT estate that supports it. The technologies required include those described as smart grid solutions, such as Active Network Management and other automation solutions but also developments in analytic and process management capabilities that have traditionally been less well integrated with operational technology solutions. Below we discuss a number of areas where technology will play a key role in accelerating the transition to an (active) DSO:
Adoption of new information technologies will not enable a more active DSO model on its own. There is a considerable investment to be made by those who will operate, support and deliver this technology. Shortlisted below are key competencies in which the owners of distribution networks will have to invest and develop:
The distribution businesses that best develop understanding and capability to exploit the technologies discussed will be those that have the opportunity to exploit the benefits of the active DSO model earlier as well as being able to set the standards and architecture that other distributors and associated parties will have to follow. With continued changes in European energy market landscape in 2016, discussion on DSO model will become even more urgent.
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