How do utilities build a distributed, digital grid while maintaining reliability? That’s the industry’s biggest challenge ahead.

That challenge is addressable, however.

According to GTM Research's analysis, a growing number of power companies around the U.S. are actively scaling projects designed to network distributed generation, integrate electric vehicles, and help customers understand their options -- all while enhancing grid reliability standards.

After years of experimentation, the electric utility industry is finally moving beyond pilots and into actual deployments. And GTM Research has identified nine meaningful projects around the country that represent the future of the industry.

In its latest report, The Grid Edge 100: Deployment and Opportunity at the Grid Edge, GTM Research diagrams market-specific vendor taxonomies and provides nine detailed case studies that define the vision of a next-generation electricity system.

As shown in the map below, these include residential energy storage networking, new grid communication standards, and vehicle-to-grid integration.

Source: The Grid Edge 100: Deployment and Opportunity at the Grid Edge

The new report highlights vendors and utilities that are proactively working to transform the way electricity is generated, delivered and consumed. Drawing on GTM Research’s database of thousands of utility contracts, the report presents noteworthy activity across the global electricity industry in the context of market drivers and barriers, policy trends, and vendor ecosystems.

“Grid-edge innovation isn’t confined to any single state or region,” said Andrew Mulherkar, GTM Research grid analyst and author of the report. “Beyond well-recognized efforts in California, utilities in states like Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois have demonstrated an ability to reshape the industry’s potential.”

This slide-based report is the third and final report in the Grid Edge 100 series. The series examines the trends and companies shaping the transition to a decentralized energy system. Markets covered include advanced metering infrastructure, communications, demand-side management, energy storage, electric-vehicle integration, microgrids, network operations and data analytics.

Factors such as the growth of distributed energy resources, expansion of energy market services, change in customer preferences, and increase in regulatory scrutiny bring significant opportunities and significant challenges for utilities. As new service models and revenue opportunities emerge, grid reliability remains as critical as ever.

For more information, visit the report page here.