T&D World Magazine

METC to Transform Transmission System with Intelligent Network

Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC), a Trans-Elect enterprise, has finalized an agreement with IBM to conduct consulting and integration services for the upgrade of its protection and control relay system, a project designed to enhance the overall reliability of METC’s transmission system, and which is expected to span seven to eight years.

IBM will develop business intelligence analytics and dashboards to help transform critical operations and business data into useful information that can be accessed in real-time. This will enable METC to see what’s happening at the sub-station level – a view that many electric utilities do not currently have today -- and help optimize both their operations and maintenance, and to respond more quickly to power outages. Through the IBM WebSphere portfolio, METC is able to leverage a comprehensive enterprise integration solution, complete with off-the-shelf adapters for commercial applications. This model allows for open data exchange across the organization, rapid development and simple integration of applications.

METC also plans to use the Utility Common Information Model, an industry standard used for the assimilation of systems, to further simplify the integration cycle and reduce costs. One of the early benefits of working with IBM was the introduction to InStep Software, LLC; specifically, InStep’s eDNA product, which has provided METC with a scalable, industrial-strength data historian.

IBM will provide a new secured hosting environment to support GE Energy’s work for the protection and control project started earlier this year.

The hosting center will offer computing resources for the volumes of real-time data streamed out of the GE microprocessor relays, phasor measurement units, digital fault recorders, equipment monitoring devices and weather stations.

Moreover, the hosting center will also provide resources for GE’s Powerlink Advantage, the human machine interface, as well as for video security archiving and other support functions.

The three key areas addressed in this project are system protection, communications and security.

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