With many utilities facing the task of storing petabytes of smart meter data for as long as seven years in order to satisfy regulatory requirements, the ability to house and leverage the massive load of data accumulating from the smart grid is a significant IT challenge.
It is becoming abundantly apparent that, while there is still focus on install rates of physical smart meters, what will matter in the future is how well the data from these smart meters can be secured by utilities and how well utilities can use that data to manage demand response, address outages and balance load. Beyond these initial steps, however, lies the holy grail of smart meter data: the possibility that it can be used to drive changes in customer behavior.
Power and engineering giant Siemens will buy smart meter software company eMeter, the companies announced on Monday. While the companies did not disclose the price, this is one of the most high-profile deals for the smart grid in 2011.