An artist’s rendering of the future Innovation Partnership Building to be located at the UConn Technology Park. The building will offer large, flexible laboratories and highly-specialized equipment not readily available to industry. (Image courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

Industry-Academia Partnership to Bring Storm Outage Prediction to Utilities

May 16, 2016
Schneider Electric, the University of Connecticut and Eversource Energy are partnering to bring innovative storm damage modeling capabilities to the broader utility industry

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, today announced an exclusive long-term partnership with the University of Connecticut (UConn) and Eversource Energy to combine the companies’ storm outage prediction technology to create a single, more precise and accurate model. UConn’s unique analytics model will be integrated into Schneider’s WeatherSentry Online (WSO) platform, enabling utilities to better understand the expected impacts of storms on their utility infrastructure and to make smarter decisions in preparing for storms to minimize restoration time, cost and impacts to customers.

“We are very excited about this unique collaboration between three leading organizations to further enhance this ground-breaking technology,” said Jon Reifschneider, Vice President of Weather at Schneider Electric. “This project will also allow us to commercialize our comprehensive weather decision-support platform, taking it to new heights, fulfilling our commitment to provide innovative solutions for utilities to optimize their operations and better serve their customers.”

The project will be housed at the Eversource Energy Center on the UConn campus. The Center is a partnership between the university and Eversource to develop state-of-the-art approaches for delivering reliable power and responding to severe weather and security events. Becoming a member of the partnership, Schneider Electric will apply its top-rated weather technology, weather data and expertise in developing scalable solutions for utilities globally.  With this new project, Schneider and Eversource will expand upon their long-term relationship in supporting storm preparation efforts by combining UConn’s Outage Prediction Model (OPM) with Schneider’s WSO platform and other weather services.

“As a utility, we work year-round to ensure we’re ready for whatever Mother Nature brings our way,” said Peter Clarke, Vice President of Emergency Preparedness at Eversource. “This partnership will enhance the precision of our current storm damage forecasting tool, allowing us to plan more effectively and deploy additional crews and resources as needed to areas expected to be the hardest hit. This will help speed the restoration process and minimize customer inconvenience.” 

"We are excited to see the world-class research from our UConn team expand into the market,” said UConn Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mun Choi. “We are confident that the utility industry throughout the country will see this technology as an opportunity to leverage their outage and infrastructure data with Schneider's weather information to make informed decisions when severe weather strikes.”

In addition to providing new, marketable technology, the announced partnership provides new opportunities for UConn students and researchers interested in the meteorological sciences and utilities management.

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