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Microsoft and our partners are preparing for the increasing sophistication and automation of the grid, including the entry of a new type of energy consumer who is also an energy producer and source of stored energy.
Indeed, industry visionaries believe tomorrow's grid will need to adjust to bidirectional power flows as well as bidirectional information flows about consumption and pricing between utilities and their consumers. Once enabled with better communication flows, tomorrow's transmission and distribution system could very well become much more self-healing, as millions of new electricity flow monitors on the grid, along with end users' smart meters, send terabytes of data to control systems, seeking management and optimization. This will cause entirely new business models to develop in response to consumers' ability to produce and add electricity through distributed generation sources or the electric storage of their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This is the new face of the Smart Energy Ecosystem, one that is more advanced and complicated than those considering just a smart grid.
Microsoft and partners like AREVA, ESRI, Itron, OSIsoft, SubNet Solutions, and others are preparing utilities for a new era of integrated grid, transmission, and generation. Technology systems offer solutions to numerous energy delivery challenges, including:
You can learn more about the delivery challenges facing power and utility companies and the solutions that technology systems from Microsoft and our partners can offer here.