Navigant Research - AMI and Distribution Automation Integration
Leveraging Neighborhood Area Networks for Outage Management,
Restoration Verification, Power Quality Alarming, Load Monitoring, Asset Monitoring, CVR, IVVC, and FLISR

Utilities exploring smart grid opportunities are increasingly shifting their focus from the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology to distribution automation (DA) applications intended to reduce capital and operating costs, as well as improve the efficiency and quality of the power grid. While government mandates and funding have led to a number of smart meter (AMI) initiatives over the last decade, the integration of DA systems and applications with previously deployed or planned AMI systems is expected to help utilities strengthen their AMI business cases and wring further financial benefits out of past investments.
But the integration of AMI and DA systems is not a slam dunk for utilities. Potential obstacles can be found in the robustness of the AMI system’s underlying communications network, in organizational silos where different departments may lack experience with systems and protocol interoperability, and in the management and analysis of the expected vast volumes of data. Regulatory support may also be difficult to obtain. Navigant Research forecasts that more than 15% of the global installed base of smart meters will be incorporated in functional AMI/DA systems by 2020, up from 2% in 2012.
This Navigant Research report examines the opportunities and challenges faced by utilities seeking to integrate AMI and DA systems in the smart grid. The study provides an overview of the current state of the global AMI and DA markets, as well as a review of the communications networking technologies employed in each. Various DA applications appropriate for integration with AMI systems and their communications networks are also analyzed. Global market forecasts of components of AMI/DA integration, including smart meters for DA applications and integrated routers, extend through 2020. The report also provides a general outlook of AMI/DA integration and profiles of key market participants.
Key Questions Addressed:
  • How can installed AMI systems be leveraged for DA applications?
  • Which communications technologies are best suited for integrated AMI/DA?
  • What challenges do utilities face as they integrate AMI and DA systems?
  • What benefits will utilities gain as they integrate AMI and DA systems?
  • What DA applications are best suited for existing AMI networks?
  • How is smart grid technology evolving to accommodate fully integrated systems?
  • What percentage of installed smart meters will be leveraged for DA applications between 2012 and 2020?
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