GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has announced plans to help two New Zealand utilities upgrade their traditional Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems with GE’s Advanced Distribution Management Solutions (ADMS).
Top Energy Limited electricity generation and lines network company supplies 31,000 customers in the Mid and Far North of New Zealand’s North Island. Northpower operates an electricity network in the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts of Northland, with more than 5,700 km of electricity lines and almost 60,000 customers.
GE’s ADMS provide operators with better information to support decision making on the network, especially during storm response and major incidents. Part of GE’s Digital Energy portfolio, it is engineered with adaptive algorithms and predictive analytics to enable automation of routine tasks and real-time monitoring of the network.
Implementing common systems across distribution utilities will drive down costs, improve reliability, and enhance the customer experience across the Northland region. GE’s ADMS will also support dynamic network operations as distributed generation, such as wind and solar, continues to grow.
Northpower’s Network General Manager Josie Boyd commented, “ADMS will provide a platform for enhanced outage management and improved safety outcomes. Importantly, it will provide a platform on which we can build visibility of our low voltage (400 volt) lines to support the distributed energy resources that connect to our network.”
Top Energy CIO Gordon Ramsay noted, “The provision of real-time flags showing the predicted location of critical faults as they occur on the network will improve decision making when diagnosing faults, leading to quicker restoration times.”
Ramsay also highlighted the operational health and safety improvements that will arise from the roll-out, “Embedding network operating and access management business rules into the system that work with the control room operator will help ensure safe operation of the network and the health and safety of the field staff. That’s a critical outcome.”
Stephen Ellis, account director at GE added, “The new system will mean improved safety for their field crews and more efficient outage restoration efforts. Having a clear view of the full network helps utilities drive situational awareness, manage planned and unplanned work, mobilize resources and efficiently restore the network after an outage.”
GE is working closely with its customers in New Zealand and the broader Asia-Pacific region to support the sharing of configuration, knowledge and experience on the ADMS solution. This sharing of knowledge enables the utilities to share some costs of supporting the application, gives a faster return in realizing financial value, and in the longer term allows operators to potentially assist each other in times of crisis with a similar look and feel of operational technology in the control room.