3Q 2020

Grid Hardening and Disaster Recovery Technologies

The global electric grid is transforming from a unidimensional system of power producers and consumers into a multidimensional, cloud-enabled network. It has two-way flows of power and information. As such, it is more critical than ever for utilities and solutions providers to prioritize grid hardening and resiliency technologies. The frequency and scale of natural disasters increases year over year, and outages are simultaneously becoming less tolerable and more expensive to utility customers. Increasing outages linked to natural disasters, wildfires, and other events is adding to the threat of deregulation and distributed energy resources integration into the traditional utility business model. To combat this and maximize grid performance and reliability, utilities must strategically invest in automation, control, visibility, and resiliency technologies. 

From 1989 to 2018, the global average number of natural catastrophic events was 520 events per year according to the Insurance Information Institute. This statistic includes geophysical, meteorological, hydrological, and climatological events, encompassing earthquakes, storms, floods, wildfires, and others. In 2019, the planet witnessed 820 such events after experiencing 850 events in 2018. In addition to the increased frequency of natural catastrophes, the intensity and cost of these events has risen sharply since 2010. From 1980 to 2020, the US averaged 6.5 costly disasters incurring damages of $1 billion or more according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. From 2017 to 2019, however, this number spiked to $14.7 billion worth of damages from disasters each year. 

This Guidehouse Insights report identifies and discusses the key grid hardening and resiliency technologies for deployment on transmission and distribution (T&D) networks. Utilities must think ahead, be flexible, accept help, and constantly reevaluate options to ensure the operation of a hardened and resilient grid. The report includes the identification and discussion of eight key technologies for storm response and resiliency and provides four key recommendations for utilities and solutions providers.

Pages 11
Tables | Charts | Figures 1
  • What is the need for grid hardening and resiliency technologies?
  • Which grid hardening and resiliency technologies are utilities and energy network operators deploying?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of grid hardening and resiliency deployments?
  • Which T&D assets are most critical and which require the most grid hardening and resiliency investments from utilities and network operators?
  • Which T&D assets are the highest and lowest risks for failure if not hardened?
  • What trends are driving and slowing the market for grid hardening and resiliency technologies?  
  • What are the key recommendations and strategies for improving grid performance and increasing deployments of grid hardening and resiliency technologies?
  • Utilities, transmission and distribution network operators
  • Transmission and distribution equipment manufacturers and solutions providers
  • Distributed energy providers
  • AMI Vendors
  • ADMS, SCADA, OMS, EMS, and other utility software and solutions providers
  • Edge computing technology vendors
  • Government agencies
  • Distributed energy resources network owners and operators
  • Investor community




Natural Disasters Have Become More Frequent, Intense, and Expensive

Predict, Prepare, and Protect

Withstand and Mitigate

Respond and Recover

Grid Hardening and Resiliency Technologies Improve Outage Prevention and Recovery

T&D Automation Provides Enhanced Control and Visibility

Centralized and Distributed Automation Control Schemes Combine for Optimal Control

FLISR Enables Superior Response Times

Remote Monitoring Maintains Grid Visibility Throughout and After Storms and Other Outage Events

Smart Metering Provides Granular, Hyper-Local Data Points for Outage Detection and Location

Physical Hardening Protects Grid Assets from Disaster Damage

Predictive Weather and Forecasting Platforms Provide Utilities with Critical Intelligence

Workforce Management and Emergency Response Planning Software Streamline Reparation Efforts

Utilities Must Strategically and Efficiently Invest for the Present and Future

Thinking Ahead Ensures Preparedness

Flexibility Enables Balanced Solutions

Collaboration Breeds Innovation 

Reevaluation Is Critical for Future-Proofing

  • EIA SAIDI: 2013-2018
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