Smart Grid News

Smart Grid News

Outage management systems next wave of smart grid installations 

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One of the top systems integrators in the country says deployments of outage management systems (OMS) will continue to rise throughout North America, and in 2013, could potentially become one of the most important smart grid functions, Smart Grid News reports. 

According to the news source, a recent survey of 14,000 utility workers found that over 50 percent say they have plans in place to improve their OMS by either upgrading it, or replacing it completely. 

Jesse Berst, an international smart grid expert and frequent keynote speaker at events around the world, says this trend is long overdue. The technology to develop extremely powerful OMS has been around for years, but innovation had not kept up, and the industry was lacking a few key aspects. Now, however, these developments have been made, and utilities can move forward with installations. 

According to the news source, the huge amount of data that is now available allows utilities to better spot exactly where an outage has occurred, and new technology has been created that makes it simpler and less risky to integrate an OMS with all systems currently in use by the utility. 

SUBNET, a solutions provider that specializes in substation automation and integration of remote monitoring capabilities, has certainly done its part to shape a more efficient and less risky smart grid technologies integration process. SUBNET has supported interoperability through its Unified Grid Intelligence philosophy that takes a holistic approach to integrating smart utility systems in real time. 

SUBNET's innovative interoperability solutions use the most advanced products to bring together the newest substation technologies and network and computing technologies. With its vendor-agnostic solution, SUBNET can help utilities connect any device to any business platform through any form of communication. 

This new technology, coupled with staffs that have a better understanding of the benefits of smart grid technologies, has given way for many more OMS installations. 

However, the news source points out, there are many utilities that still don't have the wherewithal to integrate OMS or the staff to run it. But this could change as the benefits continue to be seen, especially in the storm-ravaged areas of the East Coast. 

"Extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy demonstrate the importance of moving beyond traditional outage management to develop true restoration management capability," said smart grid solutions expert Forrest Small. "Utilities have to process information from many sources, make good decisions in real time, and communicate clearly and continuously internally and externally. Knowing how to integrate new technologies with existing operational systems and business requirements is critical to strong restoration performance."

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