UU 203: Approach for Migrating the Evolution from a Smarter Utility to a Digital Utility

Jan 25, 2022
C145, First Level
Utility University

To register for this course, click here!


The course will show attendees examples of how utilities are evolving their grid modernization investments while migrating from Smart Grid 1.0 to Smart Grid 2.0 and into the Digital Utility 3.0 level.  This course lays out a transformation path regardless of the starting point.  What many utilities have found over the last few years, even with the best vendors selected and very good intentions of maximizing the benefits identified in the business cases, is that often after a few years something was missing holding them back from getting all the value from their investments. The following items will be covered:

  • Key Trends for Future Technology Considerations:
    • i) Overall utility technology trends, 
    • ii) Current state of grid modernization taking place,
    • iii) Communications infrastructure future, and
    • iiii) Utility of the future - what does it look like.
  • Learn from the Past: Review of 2001-2021 Smart Grid investment shortfalls that existed even at progressive utilities, which typically were keeping them from maximizing their investment.
  • Approaches for Developing the Digital Utility Roadmap:
    • Establishing digital utility and technology investments in the overall Strategic Plan
    • Migration from current automation to next-generation investments:
      • 1) Nextgen AMI,
      • 2) SCADA to ADMS,
      • 3) Communicating with DER endpoints,
      • 4) Work Management to Asset Management,
      • 5) Next Gen. Mobile Workforce optimization
    • Electric Infrastructure Foundations
    • Next-Generation Communications Infrastructure
    • Managing DER and Behind-the-Meter (BTM) Programs 
    • New Customer Offerings (products/services)
    • Maximizing Analytics
    • Staffing trends needed for the digital utility.
    • Approaches for Justifying and Getting Approval for digital utility investments

Attendees will acquire: 

  • Insights on separating “industry hype from reality.”
  • An understanding of the differences in the business case output from foundational investments i.e., GIS, MDM, FAN, etc.) to applications-specific investments AMI, DA, DER communications.
  • Approaches to a gradual smart migration to next-generation AMI to the Field Area Network to BTM communications.
  • The methodology for creating a digital utility roadmap.
  • The methodology for maximizing organizational change management.
  • New approaches for growing new types of revenue outside of traditional regulated kWh or Therms driven consumption.

Who should attend: 

  • Utility and vendor executives tasked with creating a digital utility plan.
  • Utility executives to project managers from IT tasked with building the future digital infrastructure.
  • Experienced engineers that oversee SCADA, ADMS, DA, AMI, and new DER programs that are now tasked with replacing their legacy communications infrastructure with the next generation communications
  • Vendors are creating new product lines to address the digital utility needs of the future.

Prerequisite skills, knowledge, certifications: None


  1. Walk away with a new methodology for creating a Digital Utility Roadmap for your utility. 
  2. Learn the common “pitfalls” that hampered even progressive utilities from maximizing their investments by studying several dozen smart grid technology deployments that have occurred over the last 10 to 15 years.
  3. Understand how to advance the concept of a “digital utility” through the Executive Team’s Strategic Planning process and seek approvals for the strategic digital utility roadmap.


  1. Develop a clear understanding of the drivers and business reasons for migrating to a digital utility.
  2. Learn — and take back to your utility — key lessons from dozens of implementations that moved utilities from Smart Grid 1.0 to 2.0 to now 3.0.
  3. Learn how utilities optimize the effectiveness of a digital utility implementation and maximize its value, which is critically more important than just infrastructure deployment.
  4. Hear a fresh and realistic update on the current state of next-generation technology, such as Next-Generation AMI, SCADA, EAM, Beyond the Meter and DER communications, Private LTE, others.
Rick Schmidt, Executive Consultant - Schmidt Utility Advisors LLC
Kevin Cornish, Vice President - Smart Grid - Utilligent