T&D World Magazine

CenterPoint Energy Selects Distribution Management System for Intelligent Grid

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, has selected a power and automation technology for the electric company’s intelligent grid Advanced Distribution Management System.

Using ABB’s Network Manager, the ADMS will process data from power line sensors and smart electric meters to identify the location of power outages and remotely control intelligent grid switching devices to shorten the duration of power outages. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in 2013 and will cover more than half a million Houstonians in central Houston and along the Houston Ship Channel.

“Once deployed, this system will give us greater insight into the health of our electric infrastructure and eventually create a ‘self-healing’ grid,” said Kenny Mercado, division senior vice president for CenterPoint Energy’s Regulated Operations Technology. “With this technology, we will be able to automatically reroute power around many outage locations to help us get the lights on sooner.”

Network Manager DMS is an operations management system designed to provide network modeling and management, integrated switching and tagging, trouble call and outage management, crew management, and historical archiving and reporting. Network Manager offers integrated advanced applications, such as fault location, unbalanced load flow and simulation modes, as well as interfaces to other information systems that permit organizations to leverage time-critical data across the enterprise. Network Manager is part of a suite of software offered by Ventyx, which was acquired by ABB earlier this year.

Since March 2009, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric has installed more than 700,000 smart electric meters along with supporting communications infrastructure and computing systems. Recently, the company began installing intelligent grid switching devices on power lines across central Houston and plans to eventually extend its self-healing intelligent grid throughout its 5,000-square-mile electric service territory in greater Houston in subsequent phases.

A portion of the funding for deploying smart meters and the ADMS is provided through a U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant. CenterPoint Houston Electric is using $150 million of the grant to accelerate completion of the installation of more than 2 million smart electric meters across Houston from 2014 to mid 2012. The remaining $50 million is being used for phase 1 of the intelligent grid deployment.

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