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Electric Utility Leaders Gather in Columbus, Ohio to Discuss Latest Reliability Strategies and Technologies for the Overhead Grid

Columbus, OH - (NewMediaWire) - June 26, 2018 -  Electric utility leaders and system engineers from around the country gathered in Columbus, Ohio last week to discuss the latest reliability measures and technologies being used to prevent outages and make the overhead grid more resilient to the impact of major storms. Topics at the “Improving Grid Resiliency and Exploring Predictive Reliability Methods”  Conference included: the use of predictive analytics to target problematic circuits, preparing the grid to minimize storm impact, uncovering the invisible weaknesses on the grid, the economics of becoming more reliable, and a number of predictive technologies and methods for stopping outages before they occur.

Alvin Razon, Senior Director of Distribution Optimization for NRECA (an organization representing over 900 co-operative utilities in 47 states) unveiled their organization’s ambitious program for quantifying outages and allowing multiple utilities to tap into a database of reliability data for developing more effective grid resiliency programs.  “Alvin’s presentation captured the imagination of the attendees as he presented new possibilities for utilities to gain understanding about how to approach remediation programs using outage data,” states conference sponsor and CEO of Exacter, Inc. John Lauletta.  “Exacter is working with Alvin and NRECA to help utilities not only quantify outage cost, but develop actionable predictive maintenance strategies based on Exacter Analytics to reduce customer minutes of interruption (CMI) and SAIDI, the major reliability measurement indices for utilities.  This is something we will address in detail at our November conference.”

The conference speakers agreed that innovative utilities are no longer relying on “run-to-failure” strategies to simply minimize the time of interruption, but are actively pursuing predictive maintenance strategies to eliminate problems before they occur. “The use of ‘big data’ strategies and predictive analytics in other industries, and the awareness that predictive technologies and strategies are being practiced by utilities is changing the game in reliability programs,” continued Lauletta.  “There is a real awakening to the fact that predictive indicators for future power outages can be identified and dealt with before an outage occurs and this will have ripple effects in both grid reliability and customer satisfaction.”

In addition to the predictive approaches, conference speakers presented cutting-edge methods being employed by utilities across the country, along with case studies on how to make substations, distribution systems, and the transmission grid more resilient to major weather events and storms.

Attendees visited  The Ohio State University High Voltage Laboratory where Professors from The Ohio State University presented  extensive research and demonstrations on why equipment fails.  And the Professors conducted live, high-voltage experiments demonstrating equipment deterioration issues.

“The conference was a huge success,” concluded Lauletta.  “Everyone took home new insights and practical ideas they could implement at their utilities to make their systems more reliable and resilient.”

Exacter and several of the key conference speakers are already preparing for a follow-up conference slated for November 5-7th in Columbus, Ohio.  The November conference will take a deeper dive into the use of outage data and predictive analytics for developing reliability improvement programs with quantitative results.

EXACTER®, Inc. is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) company that focuses on electric utilities worldwide. Exacter's multiple patents and trade secret algorithms create a platform technology for providing unique visibility into grid health, identifying areas of safety and system risk, and informing asset management and intelligence-based reliability initiatives.

Jason Nowland
The Nowland Group