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The power grid is aging, congested and faces new challenges and stresses that put at risk its ability to reliably deliver power to an economy that is increasingly dependent on electricity. A growing recognition of the need to modernize the grid to meet tomorrow's challenges has found articulation in the vision of a smart grid. The essence of this vision is a fully-automated power delivery network that can ensure a two-way flow of electricity and information between the power plants, end-users and all the points in between. The three key technological components of the smart grid are distributed intelligence, broadband wireless communications and automated control systems. Focusing in on the role of broadband wireless communications in enabling the smart grid, this paper lays out the key communications requirements, offers a perspective on which technologies are available to meet those requirements and presents a cost competitive end-to-end configuration that is most suitable for implementation. Furthermore, a simulation was conducted to better show the importance of optimization of power grids with wireless communications making them more eco-friendly, efficient and reliable.