Jeremy Klingel, energy and utilities expert with PA Consulting, discusses advanced distribution management solutions.
The article notes that energy companies continue to work on providing solutions to optimize the power grid, part of their efforts to support the integration of renewables and help ensure the reliable delivery of electricity. Such systems are part of the digital transformation of power generation, bringing increased flexibility to the power supply, supporting faster power restoration after outages, making power transmission and distribution more efficient, and enabling wider use of distributed energy resources (DERs). Research and development of grid management techniques continues to grow as utilities seek better ways to meet customer expectations of reliability, improve power quality and data security, and make the grid more resilient to natural disasters and other threats.
GE Digital is the latest company to unveil a new tool, the release of its Advanced Distribution Management Solution (ADMS), which the company said “enables safe and secure management and orchestration of the electricity distribution grid,” along with delivering “reliability, productivity, and efficiency through a modular architecture, adaptive algorithms, and predictive analytics for autonomous and optimized distribution grid and renewables operations.”
Energy analysts and power transmission and distribution experts told POWER such management systems become more important as increased amounts of renewable energy and DERs are integrated to the grid.
Jeremy said: “A primary value to integration of operational technologies such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), OMS, DMS (distribution management system) is to organize the available data and optimize distribution operations under a single pane of glass. This means that utility control center operators can have a single version of the truth with a view to all controllable grid inputs at their fingertips. This can drive additional efficiency out of the data available from SCADA, operationalize AMI data to inform outage management and decipher instances of nested outages, enable automation of the distribution network by pinpointing fault location and expediting automated restoration, and promote voltage reduction and conservation to manage demand without interrupting customers service.”
Jeremy noted the benefits for utilities from better grid management. “The value stacking can continue if DERMS (distributed energy resource management system) functionality is architected to allow a utility to see on the other side of the meter to plan, and perhaps even aggregate and control customer-owned assets ranging from back-up generation, EVs and battery energy storage for the benefit of the energy market, or more likely, improved resiliency. While intriguing and technologically possible via a number of commercial platforms, very few utilities have been able to re-engineer their grid planning, distribution operations, and longer term-asset performance strategy to realize the full potential of a ADMS or DERMS solution.”
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