Transforming Energy Networks and Enabling Applications with OpenWay Riva

The second session we attended today was “Transforming Energy Networks and Enabling Applications with OpenWay Riva,” which was hosted by Curt Kirkeby from Avista.

Avista provides energy services and electricity to 375,000 customers and natural gas to 335,000 customers across eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and parts of southern and eastern Oregon. This past May, Avista selected Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT solution to modernize its electric and gas network. By utilizing OpenWay Riva, Avista is improving its operational efficiencies, enhancing reliability, reducing energy losses, and enhancing customer service and engagement.

The OpenWay Riva technology will allow Avista to run applications in devices at the edge of the network to monitor and determine items such as revenue assurance and theft detection; high impedance; outage detection and analysis; transformer load management; demand response; and management of distributed generation at the sub-transformer level. Describing this technology upgrade, Curt Kirkeby said, “Instead of an all or nothing scenario, we have now have the opportunity to selectively put people on the system, something which I refer to as ‘resiliency mode.’ This technology is a game changer and the amount of value that it provides customers is unprecedented.”

Going forward, utilities will have the opportunity to selectively upgrade. You can now be more selective about replacing a few meters here and there, and not needing to replace all of them. “As we look ahead, we have locations where we will need to do something, so this will be a cost-effective solution,” said Kirkeby.

Partnering with Itron and four other companies, Kirkeby discussed their newest Smart City initiative, Urbanova, a smart city living lab in Spokane, Washington. The goal of Urbanova is to use big data to gain insights and equip residents with the tools to utilize it themselves. Located in the University District of Spokane, this initiative will enable healthier citizens, safer neighborhoods, smarter infrastructure, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy. In turn, this will make Spokane “a city where people want to be, want to live and want to work,” according to Kirkeby.

Thanks for following our blog! We’ll be back with another post tomorrow featuring an update from one of our big picture sessions, “Protecting Utilities from the Risk of New Technologies with Outcome-Based Solutions.”


Resourceful Network Solutions Enable the Active Grid

Emma Ritch
Emma Ritch, ABB

The industrial sector is becoming one of the first proving grounds for the many benefits promised by the Internet of Things, Services and People. New intelligent electronic devices are enabling vast improvements in utility efficiency, security and reliability as part of automated metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation (DA) projects. The core foundation enabling these applications is a robust, high performing and versatile wireless communication network that supports utilities in accessing and analyzing data in real time.

Secure and reliable two-way communications are required to make this intelligence productive in the active grid. Only a decade after the initial wave of AMI deployments, utilities are already demanding lower latencies and higher capacities from their networks to support the multitude of new device types that are becoming available. Reliability of communication is especially important as utilities deploy mission-critical applications, necessitating a flexible approach that assigns the right communications technology for the particular location and application, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. ABB understands that while it’s tempting to drive a standard or deployment around one wireless technology, a more resourceful, cost-effective and reliable approach is to make use of what a utility has in place, and to fill in the gaps with emerging network technology. To that end, combining wireless technologies in an optimal fashion results in a single highly intuitive network that concurrently powers all critical applications.

Many utilities implement single-purpose communications in their distribution systems with one network serving AMI, another serving DA and yet another for mobile work force automation. Consolidating to one multi-technology network offers many benefits: better return on investment, lower operating costs as a result of standardizing on fewer hardware and software products, the ability to manage the network centrally to increase reliability, and the ability to enforce consistent security and quality of service. No two utility deployments are alike, which makes it even more critical that utilities identify trusted partners who will provide flexible solutions and ongoing support to meet their unique needs.

Just ask our customers, Avista Utilities and DTE Energy. Our wireless technology in combination with Itron’s mesh radios are successfully deployed in the cities of Pullman and Spokane, Wash. The networks extend real-time communications to DA devices, providing centralized monitoring and control to empower Avista to take quick action to avoid and minimize power outages, as well as to determine which DA devices require maintenance or replacement. An integrated ABB Wireless/Itron system is also helping DTE Energy with ABB routers linking hundreds of distribution grid devices that need reliable and low-latency connections to operate properly.

Utilities have an opportunity to unlock the massive business value that the integration of IT and OT teams affords. ABB’s longevity as a proven partner for utilities has given us extensive expertise in helping our customers transform and secure their assets, with a comprehensive suite of infrastructure services tailored to your utility’s goals and requirements. As your utility transforms the smart grid into the active grid, find a proven solution with the flexibility to meet your needs. Improving operational efficiency, reliability, and security are achievable goals when the right technology foundation is in place.


Resourcefulness For Today and Tomorrow

Peter Jansen
Peter Jansen, Capgemini

Today’s world needs a sustainable energy future. Capgemini, like Itron, understands that being more resourceful means making the most of what we have. At Capgemini, we are committed to providing the right services to implement the right solutions (for today and tomorrow), which will help us better manage the world's energy and water.

So why the need to be resourceful? Much of our energy comes from fossil fuels, like petroleum and coal, which provide electricity and gas to power our growing energy needs. Needless to say, these resources are non-renewable, which means that we will eventually run out. Another reason is the health and well-being of the planet. Using fossil fuels, such as coal, to produce energy contributes to the carbon footprint. Capgemini is committed to resourceful solutions. Internally, we have formed a North American Sustainably Board, designed to build an energy efficiency plan to reduce our own carbon footprint through a reduction in business travel, optimizing our real estate, and energy and waste reductions.

For our Utility clients, we have several Smart Grid/Smart Meter/Smart Home solutions and services that are focused on successfully assisting our clients in achieving a culture of conservation with their customers – be it electricity; gas; and/or water.

These services and solutions help reduce waste (such as detecting wasted water due to leaks), support greater customer choice and control (such as supporting advanced rate tariffs like TOU, PTR, etc.) and support new uses of energy (such as micro grids and renewables). These solutions not only reduce consumption, but also help to spread consumption to off-peak periods. Studies show that just by becoming aware of their homes’ daily electricity usage, customers can lower their electric bills up to 10 percent; and that customer demand response programs can reduce U.S. peak demand by 20 percent.

Capgemini has been successfully providing these services to utilities around the globe for more than fifteen years.

Related to this, we have also provided services to help utilities implement the Green Button initiative. The Green Button initiative is an industry-led effort to provide utility customers with easy and secure access to their energy usage information in a consumer-friendly format. With their own data in hand, consumers can take advantage of a growing array of online services to help them manage energy use and save on their bills. For example, programming their home energy management devices, sizing and financing rooftop solar panels and helping a contractor to verify their home energy savings more cost-effectively. Capgemini was recently awarded a three year contract to support a major Canadian utility in implementing its Green Button initiative and Energy Data Platform (EDP), which are designed to provide customers with easy, secure access to energy usage information as well as applications to manage efficiency.

At Capgemini, we believe that a sustainable energy future is obtainable. Our Smart Grid/Smart Meter/Smart Home solutions facilitate the co-ordination of the capabilities of generators, grid operators, end-users and electricity market stakeholders to allow them to operate all parts of the system as efficiently as possible, minimizing costs and environmental impacts while maximizing system reliability, resilience and stability.


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