The rapidly accelerating transformation taking place in the electric utility industry and the distributed networks it operates has created the demand for a unified data management platform that can do far more than just collect massive amounts of information. Utilities must also be able to mine that data for insights that help them manage their distribution networks, and then serve up those insights to all users.

Maximizing the Value of Smart Grid and Data, a newly released playbook from Utility Dive that was prepared in conjunction with Aclara, a leading supplier of smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) to electric, gas and water utilities worldwide, takes an in-depth look at the role data plays in modern utilities.

“Utilities are looking to enhance grid visibility and better coordinate grid operations with controllable customer resources,” said Kumi Premathilake, senior vice president, advanced metering infrastructure and utility automation at Aclara. “Operators are increasingly using data analytics to increase the visibility of DERs and customer load forecasting. They need real-time information on critical network connections so they can act upon and provide reliable safe power.”

The playbook emphasizes the need for a software interface that utilities can use to harness the power of the data generated by their advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems and make it available to relevant stakeholders.

From metering, monitoring, and communications to customer engagement, AclaraONE® (One Network for Everyone) is a unified, scalable platform designed to grow as utilities’ needs for smart infrastructure solutions-enabled networks grow. AclaraONE helps them gain actionable insights to improve operational efficiency, reliability, and responsiveness.

T.W. Allen, director of substations and metering at Tideland EMC, a utility that has implemented AclaraONE, stated in the playbook, “Now I get the real-time peak data instead of a 30-day window. It’s a big help to easily get accurate, exact time of peak load for all meters to use for over- and under-sizing, and utilization of our transformers.”