No matter where in the world they
operate, every utility is confronted by
multiple business drivers competing for
scarce resources and imposing change
on their business environment.
Utilities who have already begun the journey to grid
modernization have discovered that, by changing the
way they think and act, they can often satisfy multiple
business objectives with a single investment.
HOW DATA ANALYSIS IS CHANGING
THE WAY UTILITIES THINK
Grid automation and analytics are game-changers,
certain to be at the forefront of developments down
the track. But for now, most utilities simply want to
access devices, monitor and manage them. That may
not be as advanced as automated fault detection,
or complex distance-to-fault calculations, but it is
incredibly practical, and saves utilities a ton of money.
Data that is already available can be used to anticipate
faults, take proactive measures to prevent outages,
and provide insights that improve planning and
management of the grid.
This goes well beyond monitor and control of assets.
It means reusing data intelligently, and developing
ways to analyze and apply those new insights. Let’s
look at the business benefits coming out of grid
modernization right now:
• STRATEGIC PRIORITIZATION JUSTIFIES
If you start by targeting the infrastructure and
equipment that costs the most to get to, then deploy a
radio terminal to remotely monitor and manage each
of those, chances are each terminal will pay for itself
in just one callout. You can prove a demonstrable
return on investment by comparing reduced
(or avoided) outages to justify further terminal
• REMOTE ASSET MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT
IS REDUCING TRUCK ROLLS
One large US power utility (with an electricity
customer base of more than two million), has
estimated their average cost of a truck roll at $500
(labor, fuel, insurance, vehicle expenses etc).
Using government grant money to upgrade their
communications monitoring and visibility, they
eliminated 130,000 truck rolls a year - over 350 a
day. That saves them an estimated US$65M each
year from just that one benefit; there are many others
that will multiply savings and efficiencies.
• AUTOMATED FAULT DETECTION, ISOLATION
AND SERVICE RESTORATION REDUCES OUTAGE
FREQUENCY AND DURATION
With this level of monitoring and control, grid reports
tell you where the fault is, and what the system did to
mitigate the problem. You can dispatch resource to the
right place with the right skills, equipment and tools
to fully restore service on the first trip. And ultimately,
that keeps both customers and regulators happy.
In a C3 Energy Report filed with the US Dept. of
Energy, Duke Energy reported $330M in benefits
from this implementation.
• CONSERVATION VOLTAGE REDUCTION REDUCES
ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND SYSTEM LOSSES
Tuning the system to a slightly lower voltage forms
the basis of virtual power plants, that reduce
consumption through voltage reduction caused by
fluctuating renewables output. The system absorbs
the variability, yet it still delivers a constant output
to the consumer.