Georgia Power earlier this year announced a deal for a template-based smart grid solution that simplifies the implementation process and increases flexibility and functionality for electric utility feeder and distribution automation.Georgia Power’s Leslie Sibert, vice president of Distribution, said “We will be implementing Efecac's Centrix as part of a centralized fault isolation and restoration pilot program. Georgia Power selected this solution as part of our continuing efforts to deploy key Smart Grid functionality in a scalable and cost-effective way.” Until now, utilities have had essentially two choices for feeder and distribution automation -- a distributed, rules-based system or a centralized, model-driven system. The first approach is relatively easy to deploy but lacks the power and flexibility needed to deal with multiple fault occurrences, multiple vendor hardware, or changing needs over time. The network model utilized in the second approach provides a more robust solution, but can be pricey to install and maintain. Centrix uses a variety of custom network templates that have multiple devices that may be activated or ignored in order to customize system architecture –- or to readily adjust for future growth or a change in equipment or priorities. It creates a unique “island-based” configuration for feeder restoration and optimization. Centrix’ installation costs are similar to a decentralized system, yet it uses a true network model that incorporates existing and future devices and technologies to deliver a combination of advanced smart grid applications, including load flow, fault detection isolation and restoration (FDIR), loss minimization, interactive volt-var control (IVVC), and more.