in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Thanks to a number of technological advances, as well as declines in the price of equipment and monthly services, satellite communications are emerging as a viable and attractive means of connectivity for many smart grid applications - including substation automation, distribution automation, advanced metering infrastructure backhaul and remote monitoring - according to a report from Pike Research.

Revenue from satellite services and equipment for smart grid applications will reach $368 million by 2020, increasing from just under $67 million currently. Numerous satellite service providers and equipment manufacturers are now aggressively pursuing the utility market, a trend that should further reduce the cost of satellite service and equipment even as bandwidth and connection speeds improve, according to the report.

"Satellite-based communications have historically been a last resort for grid operators, mostly for remote substation connectivity," says Bob Gohn, vice president of Pike Research. "But improved cost and performance is allowing satellite communications to be used in an increasing number of grid applications, enabling a tripling of forecasted equipment revenue over the next eight years, with even higher service revenue growth."

He adds that although satellite-based systems will remain a niche technology compared with terrestrial options, utilities will increasingly consider them for communications options.

Many utility executives remain wary of using satellites for critical smart grid applications because of concerns over latency, interoperability, security and bandwidth efficiency. Pike Research's analysis, however, indicates that many of these concerns are based on outdated perceptions.

New technology and product offerings have addressed many of the cost, performance and reliability challenges associated with earlier systems. At 600 milliseconds, round-trip satellite communications latency is adequate for most smart grid applications and compares favorably with many terrestrial options, according to the report. In addition, data rate options of up to several megabits per second are commonplace, while planned systems may even be faster than some cable or 4G broadband services today.


Hse SandyHook
Latest Top Stories

DOE Report: U.S. Wind Power Prices Reach All-Time Low

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), wind power continues to play a larger role in the U.S.' energy mix and is the cheapest it has ever been in the country.


Survey Reveals What U.S. Consumers Expect From Their Utilities

GE's new survey measures Americans' views on the state and future of the grid, as well as how much extra consumers would be willing to pay for better power reliability.


How A GIS Can Help Utilities Address The Aging Workforce And Capitalize On Data

Baby Boomers, whose experience and know-how have served the utility industry so well for decades, are retiring. The author suggests utilities can use a geographic information system (GIS) to fill in resultant knowledge gaps.


Sensus Smart Meters Tied To More Overheating Incidents And Fires

SaskPower is investigating two new meter failures, and Portland General Electric is working to replace 70,000 Sensus units amid fire concerns.


SaskPower Halts Smart Meter Installations Following Fires

The Canadian utility has suspended its smart meter deployment as it investigates half a dozen fires associated with the meters.

S&C Electric_id176
edf_id180