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Wireless technologies can support a broad range of smart grid applications including advanced metering infrastructure and demand response. However, there are many formidable challenges when wireless technologies are applied to the smart gird, such as the trade-offs between wireless coverage and capacity, the high reliability requirement for communication, and limited spectral resources. Relaying has emerged as one of the most promising candidate solutions for addressing these issues. In this article, an introduction to various relaying strategies is presented, together with a discussion of how to improve spectral efficiency and coverage in relay-based information and communications technology infrastructure for smart grid applications. Special attention is paid to the use of unidirectional relaying, collaborative beamforming, and bidirectional relaying strategies.