ScottMadden Shares Insight on Changing Grid Investments

November 16, 2017

ScottMadden, Inc., one of North America’s leading energy consulting firms, was recently featured by Greentech Media (GTM) in the article, “Utilities See ‘Robust’ Spending on Grid Upgrades to Prepare for Distributed Resources.” The article, featuring Cristin Lyons, partner and grid transformation practice leader at ScottMadden, and Paul Quinlan, clean tech manager at ScottMadden, explores the shift for grid investments.

As the article shared, ScottMadden’s “latest Energy Industry Update looks at new infrastructure spending as a result of the changing grid mix.”

“The grid was designed for central station generation with long-haul transmission and distribution equipment that delivered electricity in only one direction,” added Ms. Lyons. “Today, many different types of resources are appearing at many places on the grid, requiring that we rethink the way the grid is planned and operated.”

As the grid is required to do different things, utility-scale solar can address common operational challenges, such as variable output, lack of robust ancillary services, and dispatch limitations. By designing a system with additional capacity and using smart inverter technology, “controllable” utility-scale solar can provide smoother output and provide grid services. The addition of storage produces “smart” utility-scale solar and allows dispatch of energy and capacity during evening and nighttime hours.

“In the near term, we expect the recognition of good grid stewardship and declining solar PV costs to drive interest in controllable solar,” said Mr. Quinlan. “The transition to controllable and smart utility-scale solar will provide tremendous benefits to consumers, the environment, and grid management.”

GTM explained, “The ScottMadden report also outlined the ‘rough patch’ in the nuclear industry. While some environmental groups are cheering the decline of nuclear, the report authors warn about the impact on renewables. According to the report: ‘Loss of [retired or at-risk] nuclear generation, if it occurred, would wipe out more than half the gain in non-emitting generation from wind and solar’. The market shift is only accelerating. And it is heavily influencing the way utilities spend money on infrastructure.”

To learn more about the direction and magnitude of changes in our industry, and the forces in play, download The ScottMadden Energy Industry Update.

About ScottMadden’s Energy Practice

We know energy from the ground up. Since 1983, we have been energy consultants. We have served more than 400 clients, including 20 of the top 20 energy utilities. We have performed more than 3,000 projects across every energy utility business unit and every function. We have helped our clients develop strategies, improve operations, reorganize companies, and implement initiatives. Our broad and deep energy utility expertise is not theoretical—it is experience based.

About ScottMadden, Inc.

ScottMadden is the management consulting firm that does what it takes to get it done right. Our practice areas include Energy, Clean Tech & Sustainability, Corporate & Shared Services, Grid Transformation, and Rates, Regulation, & Planning. We deliver a broad array of consulting services ranging from strategic planning through implementation across many industries, business units, and functions. To learn more, visit | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn.


Media contact:

Mary Tew


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