To most consumers, advanced meters are the poster child for smart- grid efforts. Workers are installing millions of these digital meters around the United States to improve two-way communication between customers and their electric utilities. Graphic courtesy Electric Power Research Institute A complete smart grid will include sensors, monitors, information technology and intelligent infrastructure, such as transmission lines and poles. Related Links: Mapping Tool for Buried Utilities Generates View From Three Sensors But for transmission and distribution companies, “smart grid” means something else: the addition of “intelligent infrastructure” layers over standard poles and wires. And for these companies, “smart grid”
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.