Originally Posted in Oracle
Severe weather events are increasing in both frequency and intensity. To help keep power available while supporting predictable restoration for millions of affected customers, the top utilities across the globe rely on the performance and dependability of Oracle Utilities Network Management System (NMS).
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, “In 2018 (as of October 9), there have been 11 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States.” Likewise, a study by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) covered in Science Daily, noted that “extreme weather events have become more frequent over the past 36 years, with a significant uptick in floods and other hydrological events compared even with five years ago.”
When emergencies strike, utilities’ grid operations need to effectively respond to unplanned outages, integrate emergency and mutual-aid crews, and get accurate information to customers fast. Built from the ground-up as a fully-integrated outage and distribution management system, NMS gives utility operations teams accurate, timely, and reliable information critical for meeting the challenges of 21st-century grid operations. Today, more than 40 utility customers—including 6 of the top 9 utilities in the U.S.—depend on the industry-leading Oracle NMS platform in their control centers; several of which have the most demanding storm performance requirements in the industry. On the East Coast of the U.S. alone, power can be restored to 19.4 million customers faster thanks to Oracle NMS.
Customers rely on Oracle to navigate the storms
“The past three years has brought a relentless stream of hurricanes and storms, including Matthew, Irma and Michael,” said Josh Stallings, systems & standards manager, Georgia Power Company. “During each, Georgia Power Company was able to rely on Oracle NMS to bring order to an otherwise chaotic situation. In particular with Irma, which resulted in service interruptions for some 1,630,000 customers we had more than 425 concurrent users on NMS, allowing our operations staff to have a single valid source to monitor and understand what specific parts of the electrical distribution system were impacted, as well as validate the current state of various devices and equipment on the distribution system. The software also allowed us to perform meaningful customer communications ranging from broad-scale restoration targets down to event level communication for cases of trouble with repair crews onsite.”
“In Ireland, we are experiencing more extreme weather events each year,” said Robert Power, NMS system manager at ESB Networks. “Storm Darwin was a turning point in February 2014. The development team fully supported us implementing all required enhancement requests identified in the aftermath of this storm. Since going live with Oracle NMS in April 2017, the system has demonstrated exceptional performance for more than 150 users, coordinating and reporting on all outage activity. Hurricane Ophelia was our first real test, however, the intuitive and flexible nature of the application allowed us to configure storm rules, ETRs and UI as needed to reflect our unique user and system requirements to best manage the restoration effort.”
Oracle NMS: The calm before, during and after the storm
Based on 30 years of market experience, NMS leverages market-leading outage management technology with distribution management and advanced analytics to empower utilities to maximize grid operation capabilities, shorten outage duration and optimize distribution, all while keeping their customers engaged and informed. NMS reported outstanding performance during the recent hurricane season, which included Florence and Michael. Oracle is now working closely with its utility customers to brace for extreme weather on the horizon this winter, 15 of which serve more than 1 million customer meters each.
“While we previously viewed a catastrophic episode such as Katrina as a once in a lifetime event, they are fast becoming yearly occurrences,” said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Utilities. “As such, the technology to stabilize the world’s power grids and prepare them for uncharted weather territory needs to be equal parts cutting-edge and battle-tested. Oracle’s field-proven NMS system has enabled our customers to weather the most intense storms, helping maintain and restore power to millions. Utilities have enough to worry about during a major weather event, they will attest that our Network Management System isn’t one of them.”
Providing a “single-pane-of-glass” to maintain efficient grid operations, Oracle NMS presents the information control center operators need to effectively optimize the grid end-to-end from the substation to the end customer. Built on a data-centric, platform-based approach with integrated applications, Oracle NMS delivers unified user access to outage management (OMS), distribution management (DMS), distributed energy resource management (DERMS) as well as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.