Open Systems International, Inc. has been awarded a new contract by Matanuska Electric Association, Inc. of Palmer, Alaska, for a three-phase SCADA and Generation Management System project to be based on OSI’s monarch (Multi-platform Open Network ARCHitecture) platform.
MEA is Alaska’s oldest and second largest electric cooperative, providing energy-related services to around 57,000 customers in the Matanuska-Susitna and Chugiak-Eagle River areas, via more than 4,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines. MEA is one of five utilities that comprise the recently formed Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Transmission & Electric Company (ARCTEC), a new generation and transmission utility formed with the purpose of collectively dealing with the energy needs and challenges of the Railbelt region of Alaska. Named for areas reached by the Railroad, Alaska’s Railbelt region is home to 70 percent of Alaska’s population and stretches from the Kenai Peninsula north more than 500 miles to Fairbanks.
This project’s first phase will include the commissioning of a new OSI SCADA system for parallel operation with MEA’s existing SCADA system. Phase two will include the commissioning of the new OSI SCADA system and the decommissioning of MEA’s previous SCADA system—switching active operations to the OSI system. Phase three will include the addition of Generation Management functionality and a fully redundant Disaster Recovery System to be located at a new MEA generation facility.
The full scope of this project for MEA is set to include the advanced functionality presented by OSI’s next-generation, .NET based Graphical User Interface (GUI); Remote Console GUI; Data Engineering and Maintenance Subsystem; Advanced Alarm Management System; Real-time and Historical Trending; Communications Front-end Processor; Historical Information System and Data Archiving; Inter-control Center Communications Protocol; Calculation & Scripting Subsystem; Load Shed and Restoration; and Automatic Generation Control and Dispatch software products, with monarch interfaces to ODBC.
“This major software upgrade takes the entire Railbelt closer to fully centralized dispatching of the grid and gives us much higher reliability,” said Joe Griffith, MEA General Manager and President of ARCTEC.
MEA was founded in 1941 and is owned and operated by its members. MEA’s mission is to ensure that its members have safe, reliable and economical electricity. MEA continues to work at trimming controllable costs to the lowest possible level, consistent with maintaining high standards of safety and reliability. In 2012, MEA had revenues of nearly $105 million, with more than $233.6 million in total assets. MEA is headquartered in Palmer, Alaska, in the heart of the Mat-Su Borough, with district offices in Wasilla and Eagle River (in the Municipality of Anchorage), as well as an Engineering Office in Big Lake.