T&D World Magazine

Oracle’s Smart Grid Software to Link Utilities Operations and Consumer Access to Detailed Consumption Data

Oracle Utilities has introducted its smart grid software – an end-to-end software offering including mission-critical applications and back-end technology infrastructure. The products are designed to support utilities as they work to optimize the value of their smart grid components today while advancing toward a complete smart grid build out that leverages advances in IT, communications technology and energy technology to improve delivery utilization/resilience and empower consumers to address environmental concerns. Oracle offers a pragmatic approach to smart grid deployment, allowing utilities to begin recognizing the benefits of the smart grid now, while supporting a transition to a full smart grid architecture in the future, with lower cost and risk.

The smart grid software is a comprehensive, multi-solution software offering that addresses the two sides of the smart grid paradigm – allowing utilities to choose how to manage their operations and provide information to consumers to enable them to make better energy usage decisions. The offering helps to support cross-utility business processes, such as implementation of demand response and energy conservation programs that help utilities control and conserve power, take advantage of renewable energy and deliver information to end consumers to empower decision making. It also helps to accelerate and improve grid maintenance as well as repair and sizing, while enabling compliance with regulatory changes and accommodation of emerging standards.

In the recent Oracle survey, “Turning Information Into Power: Moving Toward the Smart Grid,” the vast majority of consumers surveyed reported concern about the energy costs at their primary residence and are interested in receiving more detailed information about their energy use. Also, utilities managers surveyed believe it is critical that the United States adopt smart grid technologies. However, only 16 percent of the utilities surveyed have begun the implementation of smart grid technologies.

Oracle’s Smart Grid Software Details

Oracle’s smart grid software unifies information from various segments of the Smart Grid network, including service delivery, customer interaction and consumer energy usage. Components of Oracle Fusion Middleware underlie these applications with processes that help integrate and manage large meter data batch files with Oracle Data Integrator or automate meter and sensor data filtering and front-end processing using Oracle Complex Event Processing. The solution also provides standards-based integration with a technology infrastructure that includes Oracle Database, as well as software for project management and enterprise analytics.

Oracle’s smart grid software includes the following solutions:

  • Oracle Utilities Network Management System – Integrates with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), allowing utilities to proactively respond to outages and be more precise when providing consumer alerts and notifications – enabling the smart meter to send a “last gasp” message to report a power loss thus eliminating the need for a customer to report the outage. Oracle Utilities Network Management System also supports automated isolation of faulted feeder sections and the re-energizing of un-faulted sections, minimizing sustained outages. Its integrated distribution capability supports the continual assessment of power delivery and available feeder capacity in a distribution network that optimizes operations.
  • Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing – Allows utilities to harness the benefits of new smart grid technologies and AMI, such as two-way communications, to better contain operational costs and control consumer energy demand through conservation and time-based pricing programs, as well as improve customer service and environmental awareness. It can provide customers with a clear picture of the relationship between their consumption and environmental impact, then offer service options to help change behavior.
  • Oracle Utilities Load Analysis – Performs peak load analysis, including coincidental peak demand analysis by customer rate class. This solution also balances premise level loads to system loads, incorporating variable, fixed losses and unaccounted for energy.
  • Oracle Utilities Work and Asset Management – Provides complete asset lifecycle management, which can ultimately extend the life of aging assets, enable utilities to manage network renewal projects, and enhance cost control and visibility while improving system reliability and customer service. In addition, by monitoring and performing maintenance on a timely basis, utilities can reduce the environmental impact resulting from equipment failure.
  • Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management – Supports efforts to ensure service availability and automate field operations via dispatch, scheduling and routing. It provides field workers the optimal route with the least mileage and fewest truck rolls, which helps reduce fuel consumption, highway congestion and tailpipe emissions.
  • Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management – Provides a centralized, robust system to support smart grid and green initiatives by connecting AMI usage data and presentment tools, so consumers can view their usage – allowing them to make informed conservation decisions. Utilities can also configure the application to support demand response programs including: customer recruitment, event planning, event notification and compliance.
  • Oracle Hyperion Performance Management applications and Oracle Primavera applications – Leverage comprehensive performance and project management functionality to enable the planning, scheduling and installation of utility-controlled renewable devices – such as solar panels on homes and buildings.
  • Oracle Database - Scales to tackle exponential growth in data and enables utilities to more effectively manage network operational data to improve performance.
  • Oracle Governance, Risk and Compliance – Simplifies compliance with NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) and FERC (U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) with an enterprise GRC platform for standards and policy documentation; risk-based assessment; and closed-loop remediation, certification, and reporting. Integrated controls monitoring also enforce segregation of duties to reduce the risk of improper access and fraudulent activities.
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