Xcel Energy SmartGridCity power grid uses OSIsoft PI System | Automation.com

Xcel Energy SmartGridCity power grid uses OSIsoft PI System

September 23, 2009 - OSIsoft today announced that Xcel Energy has successfully launched operations using the PI System in Boulder, CO, the nation’s first fully integrated SmartGridCity, as part of the infrastructure for collection and management of time series data required to monitor and implement the SmartGridCity concept.

The PI System stores, in a single database, electricity usage meter data for households, substation performance and status data for all four Boulder substations.

The smart grid requires the electrical transmission and distribution (T&D) industry to combine data from multiple sources in order to make dynamic grid management decisions. Traditionally, the operating data needed for a consolidated view of the grid and decisions made around that view get stored in separate systems and isolated to different business units. When this happens, engineers have to spend hours and days trying to access this data and make use of all these resources. Use of the PI System allowed Xcel Energy to easily consolidate multiple data sources, including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and substation data, into a single system, thereby providing a single consolidated view. Also, meter data—which is traditionally used only for billing—now adds to the knowledge of operating conditions.

OSIsoft has decades of experience in working with—and delivering value to—competitive industries. Through this experience OSIsoft has developed a strong and unique understanding of process improvements. Process improvements start from the idea that real-time operating data is a strategic asset that has multiple uses throughout the organization. The PI System installed in SmartGridCity provides this information to multiple users when and where they need.

“OSIsoft’s PI System was already a core technology within Xcel Energy, and we were able to leverage the time-series data management infrastructure for substations and meters,” said Randy Huston, Xcel Energy’s project delivery executive for SmartGridCity. “Now we have a seamless view of the distribution system—where metering data adds to our knowledge of dynamic operations.”

Inherent reliability has proven to be another major benefit of the PI System, according to Huston. “When one of our substations recently lost communications to corporate, PI buffered all that data until communications was restored. No data was lost,” he said. “This was exciting to see. Since the PI System currently has over one million points it is important to know we have this stability as we move forward.”

“We see a Smart Grid like the one in Boulder as constituting a shift from a load-following model to a load-shaping one,” noted John O’Shea, senior vice president, OSIsoft. “Data collection and data management in real-time is vital for the emerging Smart Grid model of utility operations, and the PI System has been doing that for decades in competitive industries such as generation, oil and gas, chemicals and biotech.”

The smart grid requires that systems be designed with an eye toward leveraging one piece of information across multiple business units and for varied applications. What OSIsoft has delivered at SmartGridCity is a vision of that future and an innovative infrastructure upon which Xcel Energy can build upon in the future.

About OSIsoft
OSIsoft delivers the PI System, the industry standard in enterprise infrastructure, for management of time series data and events. A global base of more than 15,000 installations across manufacturing, energy, utilities, life sciences, data centers and critical facilities, and process industries relies upon the OSIsoft PI System to safeguard data and deliver enterprise-wide visibility into operational and business data in order to manage assets, mitigate risks, improve processes, drive innovation, make business decisions in real time, as well as identify competitive business and market opportunities.

Founded in 1980, OSIsoft, Inc. is headquartered in San Leandro, Calif., with operations worldwide and is privately held.

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