Zpryme and the Rural Smart Grid Summit (RSGS) completed a smart grid survey of 70 U.S. rural electric cooperatives and found that cost poses the most significant challenge for smart grid initiatives. Despite challenges with cost, many electric cooperatives are embracing smart grid technologies, particularly AMI meters and data analytics.

Key Takeaways

• Nearly all electric cooperatives have some sort of smart grid effort. Many are at the stage of deploying multiple applications (31%) up from 21% last year. Pilot projects are also growing from 8% last year to 16% this year.
• With renewables, 30% of cooperatives have not taken them on yet. The large amount of cooperatives working on them cover both centralized and distributed generation. Storage is still not a reality for most cooperatives.
• Smart grid also includes customer engagement tools. Electric cooperatives use their websites the most, followed by email and social media. Many admitted that they need to increase their customer engagement efforts.
• In the next 24 months, 49% of electric cooperatives are spending $1M to $5M, and in the next 36 months 20% are spending $5M or more.

About SoCore Energy

SoCore Energy develops, builds and operates innovative solar energy installations and advanced energy solutions for portfolios of commercial, industrial, cooperatives and municipal customers throughout the U.S.

We provide low-cost, high performance solar and advanced energy solutions with an unparalleled track record of outstanding customer service to clients including Fortune 500 companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), utility cooperatives, municipalities and academic institutions.

As part of Edison International (EIX), SoCore combines its deep experience and customer focus in solar, with Edison’s financial scale, stability and unparalleled leadership in the electric power sector to deliver unique advantages to our customers. Learn more at: socoreenergy.com