T&D World Magazine

Xcel Energy SmartGridCity Power Grid Uses OSIsoft PI System

Xcel Energy has successfully launched operations using OSIsoft's PI System in Boulder, Colorado, 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 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.

"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.

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