Report: Utility Investment in Fiber Optics Could Enhance Smart Grid
Kevin Stark | Electric Light & Power
Utilities with fiber optic networks can establish a more robust smart grid by improving the chatter between smart devices and power providers, according to a new study.
The Navigant Research report suggests utilities should invest in fiber optic cables or form partnerships with companies that own existing infrastructure to access a broad range of smart grid opportunities.
“Utilities need to think about the fiber optic network that they may or may not build as a business opportunity rather than just a cost,” said Richelle Elberg, the report’s author.
Elberg says that as the power grid moves toward a competitive model with more distributed generation, fiber can provide a new source of revenue. It’s economical for utilities to build new fiber networks using their existing infrastructure and rights of way. They can also make money by selling broadband wholesale or even retail, although the report acknowledges utilities would need to prepare for pushback from existing broadband providers…(Read the full story)