Power giant Siemens (s ADR) and data warehouse veteran Teradata (s TDC) have joined hands to sell big data tools to utilities, including a system that can combine data from both smart meters and grid operational data. As GigaOM Pro analyst Adam Lesser wrote recently in his report on energy data, when smart meters are fully deployed they could generate 1,000 petabytes of data a year, about five times the amount of data on AT&T’s network.
Teradata sells software that can pull together disparate data from different sources and make it available to be analyzed. The company already works with utilities Southern California Edison and Oklahoma Gas and Electric. Utilities can use Teradata’s software tools to analyze data around things like blackouts, power supply and demand, weather conditions, and energy efficiency programs to help them manage the grid better.
Siemens is one of the largest power grid technology suppliers in the world, and in recent years has been bulking up its grid software assets. That move has included acquiring venture capital-backed eMeter, which manages smart meter data, as well as partnering with some of the leading grid software companies.
The union between the big data player and the power grid gorilla shows how the power grid is slowly adopting the network technologies of the internet and other IT-based networks. With grid assets like smart meters and substations increasingly becoming connected, the power grid could be one of the largest “internet of things” type networks in the world.
And to manage those connected things, utilities will need to embrace the most cutting edge data analytics tools.