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Technology Planning

Something is Always Coming Next

While planning technology deployments within a rural electric distribution cooperative, you must be able to clearly foresee the utility’s immediate needs and likely needs years into the future. But how many co-ops have the resources to devote to the complex and extensive smart grid decisions that lie ahead?

Chances are that you have already begun or completed a project, such as AMI or SCADA deployment. At any given time, you are investing in something new to replace older and obsolete systems. Growing consumer demand for new services, such as demand response or solar energy, adds complexity to the overall picture.

The ability to anticipate change will help you make long-term decisions and reduce costs. Smart-grid technologies increase reliability, help to preserve the environment and contribute to overall quality of life in your community. A good plan will prevent headaches along the way.

Drawing Up the Roadmap

NRTC has the experts to help you write your technology plan. They have years of experience deploying advanced technologies, developing technology project cost models and maintaining close collaboration with co-op leaders to ensure that the plan matches its needs and expectations. We can devise a smart grid technology roadmap that provides a step-by-step look at new technologies, how to deploy them and budget for them over a 10-year period. Every cooperative has different challenges. Every rural community has different strengths. The NRTC roadmap will anticipate the probabilities and deliver a managed, affordable course of action.

We Understand the Challenges

The world is changing at an amazing pace, creating challenges for electric cooperatives. There is growing demand for electricity at affordable rates to power electric vehicles and other clean energy approaches. Keeping pace will require integrating new technologies over faster communications infrastructure. Many cooperatives in recent years have invested in fiber optic backbones. NRTC technology planning will help you prepare a fiber project or use your existing fiber capacity to its full potential. At the same time, co-ops often communicate with wireless links for everything from workforce dispatch to AMI. NRTC would like to help members consolidate into multipurpose wireless networks with more capability to meet the challenges of decades to come.

Our Technology Planning Approach

We employ a collaborative approach to long-term planning. Our expert staff works in close contact with your team and stays closely familiar with your goals. First, we can lead a series of six workshops covering the potential directions your long-term plan may take:

  • Metering
  • Reliability/Outage Management
  • Load Management
  • Power Quality
  • Distributed Energy Resource (solar and wind) Integration
  • Communications

We will review each issue with your team and develop a financial model allowing you to budget each upgrade and advancement.

To learn more, contact your NRTC regional representative, or email us at