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  • Powering tomorrow: grid modernization

The convergence of technology advancement and complex power challenges

The electrical grid has served businesses and consumers for over 100 years. Utility system planners, operators and maintenance personnel have always faced challenges, but never have they compounded as rapidly as they are now. From point of generation to consumption, power requirements are quickly evolving.

A combination of factors usher in a new power landscape

Everywhere you look, there are unique dynamics at work. Infrastructures, components and equipment are aging. Weather events and natural disasters cause billions of dollars of infrastructure damage. Cyber threats are on the rise. Renewables’ share of generated power grows yearly. Customers expect to interact with utilities for more control of their electricity use thanks to the prevalence of connected devices. State and federal governments continue to introduce new energy legislation. All the while, an aging workforce across many industries is creating recruitment difficulties.

Every power challenge is unique, with its own set of complex variables. As these factors converge, complications amplify to a point with only one viable option: utilities must modernize to keep pace with change.

How utilities can manage change on the horizon

The future of power generation is responding to the fundamental shift in how consumers use power and how utilities provide it. Renewables like wind and solar are increasingly responsible for greater shares of generated power. Smart grid technologies deliver real-time and up-to-the-minute information. Batteries now provide more than reserve power, with load shifting and the sale of power back to utilities becoming real cost saving and revenue enhancement options.

These shifts in generation and consumption mean utilities must work to modernize operations. And those who embrace new technologies and connected devices stand to see efficiency gains and improved profitability.

Data and analytics garnered from intelligent technologies and connected devices are laying the groundwork. However, new system components often introduce unforeseen compatibility and management issues. So utilities not only need modern solutions – they need modern solutions that work with what they’ve already got. 

There is a growing need for more sensors throughout the grid to advance grid reliability which is driving the demand for new communicating sensing solutions with higher accuracy and seamless installation on to the existing grid.

Bennett Wallace, General Manager, Energy Automation Solutions

A foundation that supports change

Utilities are being asked to do more than ever, with less than ever. Managing more power sources with less budget, serving more people with fewer people and doing it all more efficiently and sustainably with less margin for error.

To help address these challenges, utilities benefit from a partner with a proven track record of creating smart, adaptable power systems. At Eaton, every product and service we offer is built on a foundation of intelligence, experience and security.

Scalable intelligence

With a firm grasp on power and the challenges ahead, Eaton is ready to take on your most complex system issues with a host of modernization technologies that yield a more resilient and secure grid through advanced intelligence. Look to Eaton for more residential and commercial connected devices, including Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions for factories and businesses to increase efficiency and scalability, while saving time and money. 

Manufacturer-agnostic know-how

Modernizing your system doesn’t mean starting over. You’ve put time and resources into your infrastructure, so it’s essential to work with a provider who understands the complexities of other manufacturers’ equipment. Eaton devices and software solutions integrate with your existing infrastructure to mitigate risk and reduce costs with turnkey solutions that provide everything — from generation to transmission and distribution to the “on” switch. 

Cyber-secure technology

As connected tech expands, so do security risks. Today’s customers look to suppliers who provide products that comply with the industry’s latest cybersecurity standards. Eaton responded with the first research and testing facilities approved to participate in UL's Data Acceptance Program for cybersecurity and maintains technologies that meet the UL 2900 Standard for Software Cybersecurity for Network-Connectable Products.

The power of three: how we solve complex grid challenges

Whether you’re looking to automate your system, incorporate new IoT-enabled equipment or manage and service your entire infrastructure, we can help. We’re the single point of contact to design, build, manage and maintain your grid modernization project — and we’re at our best when complex challenges arise. From complete system overhauls to consulting on individual aspects of grid improvement, Eaton solves intricate problems across the entire utility landscape.
 

Automation and control solutions 

Many devices on the market enable utilities to improve reliability and reduce costs. However, energy generation is an ever-changing landscape; power providers must turn to advanced adaptive automation solutions to deliver value. But when adding devices to the system gets complicated, how can you decide what works for your infrastructure and implement new solutions effectively?

Eaton proactively determines your best solution and offers controls to empower intelligent decisions — saving you time and money. With the most advanced power engineering software solutions and services across the globe, we:

  • Find flexible metering solutions for every department — from billing to engineering — for uniform support across all service territories
  • Increase productivity, optimize asset efficiency and enable applications and analytics for the future with smart apparatus, including enterprise-level software and secure communications 
  • Reduce maintenance costs, maximize cybersecurity and assist with NERC CIP compliance by managing all system activities remotely with industry-leading software

With technologies that enable customers to transform, protect, connect and build an electrical foundation, Eaton’s automation and control solutions help you optimize asset efficiency, improve system reliability and reduce costs.  

 


Equipment

With 125 billion connected devices projected to occupy the grid by 2030 and a 600% rise in IoT cyberattacks from 2016 to 2017 alone, providing power isn’t enough. It must be offered reliably, safely and securely. That’s why cybersecurity is at the core of our power platforms. Eaton products are built to meet stringent third-party safety standards, such as UL's Data Acceptance Program for cybersecurity and its 2900 Standard for Software Cybersecurity for Network-Connectable Products.

When installing equipment, there’s no room for error. We make certain our products and software fit your system — no matter the devices you already have installed — and offer recommendations on Eaton devices to maximize productivity and ROI. Through equipment built to withstand harsh environments and maximize service life, we:

  • Reduce setup costs, labor and commissioning time of new, replacement and existing substations with ultra-flexible modular solutions, life extension and modernization solutions 
  • Simplify system configuration and adapt to changing assets with scalable microgrid and energy resources controls
  • Turn grid-support and backup devices into revenue centers via collaborations with tech powerhouses like Microsoft and others

No matter your specific needs, we have the intelligent devices, dependable monitoring and safety equipment to help – along with the people to back it up.

 

 

Turnkey solutions & engineering services

When modernizing your utility system, your plan is as essential as the devices you install. That’s why our Engineering services team takes a 360º approach – reviewing risks, technical requirements and deliverables – to ensure projects are on time and on budget.  And thanks to our zero-incident safety culture and comprehensive safety policy (that includes input from everyone from division safety managers to customers), environmental health and safety is top-of-mind every step of the way.

With more than 1,500 experts trained on leading manufacturers’ equipment across 60 locations in Canada and the U.S., Eaton optimizes systems that are safer, more reliable and powerfully efficient. Through our breadth of services, we:

  • Facilitate savings, resilience and energy independence through microgrid and distributed energy resources that assimilate generation sources on a common grid 
  • Simplify engineering and design for safer, more reliable and cost-efficient turnkey projects with engineer/procure/construct (EPC) engineers who are experts in upgrades and designs for grid modernization, substation design/build, hydroelectric plant systems and controls, mission-critical facilities and many others
  • Provide unparalleled expertise in the latest tech trends and innovations with system engineers who are heavily involved in industry activities, seminars, workshops and technical societies 

Our engineering services team diagnoses complex problems, identifies ways to improve performance and transforms concepts into practical, efficient solutions. As the single point of contact who manages complex grid upgrades, Eaton alleviates concerns from start to finish and maintains a 24/7 on-call service team that’s focused on solving the most complex issues whenever, wherever they arise. 

 

We're here for your most complex grid modernization challenges

When challenges get complex, we shine. Eaton has a long-standing track record of service and solving tough challenges with a team of pioneers driven to reimagine and reshape critical categories in the utility industry. Our leading-edge products and solutions change the outlook of utilities and improve their customers’ lives. We harness the latest advances in smart connected devices and optical sensors to offer new levels of performance today while addressing build capacity for tomorrow. So whether you need a point solution, help managing renewables, smooth IoT integration, or someone to consult and collaborate with at scale, put our extensive expertise and expansive portfolio to work.

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We can help you prepare the grid of the future

Our Electrical Engneering Services and Systems team provides tailored solutions for grid modernization to help you with every stage of a power system's life cycle. And, our portfolio of services and solutions will align with your operational goals to keep your power system safe, cyber secure, efficient, reliable and ready for IoT.