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Aging Infrastructure: How to Save Aging Assets

By Phill Feltham

Applying limited resources to critical, aging infrastructure

BY MASSOUD AMIN, IEEE Smart Grid, University of Minnesota

The Smart Grid’s contributions to improving electric utilities’ means of monitoring the condition of assets, providing enhanced situational awareness, and faster actionable intelligence have transformed the power industry’s concept of asset management from a largely passive, time-based approach to a more proactive, condition-based assessment.

Condition-based asset management offers a big leap in accuracy, improved and, therefore, greater power grid reliability, as it is a sounder method for asset maintain/repair/replace strategies and related investments. Unfortunately, this “new” approach remains wholly inadequate to meet the challenge.

As the Smart Grid has evolved, so has the need for a much more robust and wide-ranging view of the critical nature of our power infrastructure and how to best manage it. Currently, condition-based asset management is simply one aspect of a more holistic quality management approach that weighs the relative risks and economics of asset maintenance, repair, and replacement to advance end-to-end power grid reliability, resilience, security, and modernization.

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