Study: Co-op utilities to spend $4.1 billion on smart grid through 2017

Rural co-ops own more than 40 percent of the nation's distribution lines and their collective service territories cover about three-quarters of the nation's landmass

A new study forecasts that total smart grid expenditure for rural co-op utilities in the U.S. will reach $4.1 billion through 2017, accounting for about 10 percent of the country's cumulative smart grid market over the next five years.

This is according to a new report by GTM Research, which anticipates that rural utilities will continue to focus on advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), followed closely by distribution automation (DA) technologies.

Rural co-ops own more than 40 percent of the nation's distribution lines and their collective service territories cover about three-quarters of the nation's landmass.

GTM Research analyzed responses from almost one hundred top rural co-op utility executives in this report and identified the following smart grid applications as their primary areas of focus:

· Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)

· Distribution automation (DA)

· Demand-side management

· Advanced consumer services

· HAN/BAN & on-site EMS

· Intregration of on-site energy sources

· Grid-connected energy storage

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