Utilities

Arming your Smart Utility for the Future

In a recent post I covered the new and increasing challenges presented by Distributed Generation (DG), Energy Storage (ES), Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and microgrids, as well as the benefits they offer. This blog post details solutions for solving these challenges and maximizing the benefits offered by these new technologies, centered around automation, analytics and Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS).

Automation is covered very well in previous blog posts, see High-tech power system immunity at work: the self-healing distribution network, and More than a concept: the self-healing grid is underway. Also for more information on automation solutions visit Energy Automation. Automation’s benefits are maximized when integrated with ADMS – I will cover this in a future blog post.

Regarding analytics, per a recent survey utility companies typically do not want multiple data analysis systems that must be integrated; instead they want ADMS solutions that contain analytics functionality.

Solutions like ADMS – which combine SCADA for monitoring and control, DMS for distribution power applications, outage management systems (OMS) for resiliency, energy management systems (EMS) for transmission power applications and generation control, and demand-side management (DSM) for managing demand-side resources – communicate directly with DER, microgrid and building energy controllers, enabling planning for, coordination between, and optimization of supply-side and demand-side generation and consumption.

ADMS allows system operators and engineers to forecast, manage, and mitigate voltage changes, reverse power flows, and more complex protection schemes required by DG, DER and microgrids. ADMS also serves as an analytical engine, managing automation and providing a resource for utilities to coordinate with customers, especially for forecasting peak load and managing demand response. ADMS, when integrated with accurate weather forecasting systems, can provide more reliable load and renewable forecasts, promoting peak shaving and further system optimization.

In my next post I will describe specific methods to begin preparing now for solving Smart Grid challenges.  If you like, you can read an article I wrote on this topic: Optimizing the Smart Utility, and view a recent webinar I delivered:  Management of Distributed Energy Resources and Microgrids using Advanced DMS.

Webinar on demand

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