Increased Visibility to the Grid is Happening! Read How — Voices of Experience|ADMS

smart_grid1 Consider the Cost of a Power Outage: “The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the $150 billion in annual economic losses because of outages is equivalent to adding 4 cents per kWh of costs to consumers nationwide.” — Annual Energy Outlook 2010, U.S. Department of Energy

February 23, 2015: What is it really like to deploy an advanced distribution management system (ADMS)? In February 2014 the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability formed the ADMS Working Group to collect the experiences, insights, and lessons learned from utilities implementing ADMS. The discussions from the Working Group are captured in a guide called Voices of Experience|Insights Into Advanced Distribution Management Systems.

Excerpt from the Guide: “Considering that this is an era in which smart phones and Google Maps are ubiquitous, it may come as a surprise that utilities have very little visibility into their distribution systems. Most systems still rely on breakers to disconnect the lines in the event of a fault, customers to call in to report an outage, and line crews to find the effected circuit and restore power. However, this may be changing.

Today, a number of utilities are implementing advanced distribution management systems (ADMS), a software platform that integrates numerous utility systems and provides automated outage restoration and optimization of distribution grid performance. ADMS functions can include automated fault location, isolation, and service restoration (FLISR); conservation voltage reduction; peak demand management; and volt/volt-ampere reactive (volt/VAR) optimization. In effect, an ADMS transitions utilities from paperwork, manual processes, and siloed software systems to systems with real-time and near-real-time data, automated processes, and integrated systems.”

Utilities that have deployed smart grid technologies have learned lessons and gained insights along the way—sometimes the hard way—that can be applied to new projects as well as existing projects that may be expanding or are presenting challenges. The hope is that sharing this information will help other utilities overcome or avoid some of the challenges these first adopters identified and be able to deploy their own ADMS successfully and efficiently.

ADMS Working Group Guide Summary: (Note:This report was prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory under contract No. DE-AC36-08G028308.)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 spurred investments in smart grid technology and programs at utilities across the country. The Smart Grid Investment Grant program and Smart Grid Demonstration projects that it funded provided unprecedented opportunities to learn from smart grid implementation.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE OE), in partnership with electric utilities that received ARRA funds, convened a series of Regional Smart Grid Peer-to-Peer Workshops. These were designed to bring together utilities to engage in dialogues about the most compelling smart grid topics in each region. The meetings offered a platform for smart grid implementers at all stages of project deployment to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Realizing the benefits of bringing utilities together to share their experiences, in February 2014 DOE OE formed the ADMS Working Group by assembling a leadership team of representatives from the utility industry with the mission to collect the experiences, insights, and lessons learned from implementing these systems. This guide is the result of a one-day meeting held at CenterPoint Energy in Houston, Texas, in May 2014 that was followed by a series of conference calls about specific aspects of ADMS, interviews with individuals leading ADMS projects at their utilities, and a final small group meeting at San Diego Gas & Electric in California in October 2014. The information in this guide came directly from the people in the industry on the leading edge of transforming their distribution systems.

Although the working group included more than 40 people and represented 30 utilities and organizations, the following were key contributors of their experience:

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
CenterPoint Energy (CPE)
Austin Energy
Duke Energy
Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

We hope that sharing this information will help other utilities overcome or avoid some of the challenges these first adopters identified and be able to deploy their own ADMS successfully and efficiently.

Download the final report.

Additional Information:

U.S. Electric Utility Industry Statistics Number of Electricity Providers % of Total

Publicly Owned Utilities ……………2,008 ……………… 61.4%

Investor-Owned Utilities ……………..202 ……………….. 6.2%

Cooperatives ……………………………..877 ……………… 26.8%

Federal Power Agencies …………………9 ……………….. 0.3%

Power Marketers ……………………….173 ……………….. 5.3%

TOTAL 3,269 100.0%

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