Implementing smart grid services can require considerable resources, sometimes posing technical, financial and personnel challenges for some smaller utility organizations in particular. In response, many of the industry’s major players are now offering “smart grid as a service,” or SGS to make grid modernization a reality for more organizations, according to Chartwell’s new report, Managed Services 2012.

For utilities facing smart grid implementation, managed service offerings may assist with the need for skilled human resources, as competition for personnel is fierce. Some utilities may find that, until more of these skilled workers are in the market, contracting for vendor IT services will be necessary. Integration of green power opportunities may also serve as a technical motivator, as some organizations may choose to hire a vendor to take on the challenge of incorporating renewable or distributed generation resources into the grid.

Currently, ‘smart grid as a service’ initiatives are relatively few, with projects in Norcross, Georgia, Lakeland, Florida, and remote villages in Alaska, among others. However, vendors interviewed for Chartwell’s report cite numerous viable candidates across the U.S.