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FPL, SDG&E Tie for National Reliability Award

Nov. 22, 2021
The ReliabilityOne Awards recognize North American utilities that exceled during the 2020 calendar year in critical industry categories.

Two U.S. utilities received a ReliabilityOne National Reliability Award for their commitment to grid resiliency and customer service. During the 21st Annual ReliabilityOne Awards ceremony, PA Consulting presented the national awards to Florida Power & Light Company and San Diego Gas & Electric. Six additional utilities were also recognized for their outstanding reliability efforts.

The ReliabilityOne Awards recognize North American utilities that exceled during the 2020 calendar year in critical industry categories such as resiliency, reliability, storm response, technology and innovation, sustainability, and customer engagement. Founded in 2000, PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne Awards are widely considered to be one of the most prestigious honors in the electric utility industry, recognizing organizations that provide their customers with the highest levels of reliability.

“We were pleasantly surprised to once again have a tie for the National Reliability Award. Both Florida Power & Light and San Diego Gas & Electric are top performers who are consistently driving efficient customer restoration efforts, said Gregg Edeson, PA Consulting’s ReliabilityOne Program Director. "While all our ReliabilityOne recipients demonstrate these traits, these two utilities stood out this year thanks to their collaboration on industry leading machine learning analytics, which will provide a new approach to asset performance management.

"The data shows that ReliabilityOne program participants, on average, experienced 44% fewer sustained outages, and outages were 55% shorter than the average U.S. investor-owned utility, proving that participation in the program can lead to tangible benefits to consumers and stakeholders. Congratulations again to all of the utilities who won an award this year," Edeson said.

PA analyzes the nation’s electric utility industry using publicly available information on the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which provides the average outage duration per customer, and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI), which measures the average number of interruptions per customer. The indices show a very slight decrease in IOU (investor-owned utility) average system outage duration by a half minute in 2020 to 122 minutes, compared to the previous year. Key to the utility reliability trend data is PA’s in-depth analysis, undertaken as part of the process to identify the top performing utilities and ReliabilityOne award recipients.

PA’s certification and analyses of the utilities in the ReliabilityOne program found that:

  • IOUs in 2020 saw a slight increase in average outage frequency and a slight decrease in average outage duration compared to 2019.
  • Average SAIDI performance of the award recipients decreased by approximately eight minutes from 2019 to 2020. ReliabilityOne award recipients’ average SAIDI is 55% lower, or about 65 minutes better, than the average U.S. IOU’s SAIDI.
  • Award recipients experienced 44% lower SAIFI than the average U.S. IOU.
  • Utilities are using innovative thinking and breakthrough technologies to identify and mitigate problems on the distribution grid before outages are caused, including critical asset failure prediction algorithms, focused analytics to dispatch the right mix of crews, and a ReliabilityOne Analyzer to monitor outage performance and perform outage diagnostics.
  • Two utilities in the program are using iPredict, the world’s first artificially intelligent system for predicting failures in critical electricity distribution assets before they impact customers.
  • Utilities are building in ingenious technologies which provide more comprehensive situational awareness of their service territory, their assets, and customers. Using drones, high density cameras and satellite imagery allows utilities to make better and more informed decisions regarding restoration prioritization, maintenance, and repair.

PA recognized regional ReliabilityOne award recipients from utilities across the United States based on overall system-wide SAIDI and SAIFI performance. Regional awards criteria reflect unique challenges for utilities serving metropolitan locations and those serving suburban/rural locations. Additional categories honored utilities for Public Power, Outstanding Community Safety, Outstanding Grid Sustainability, Outstanding Technology and Innovation, Outstanding Customer Engagement, Outstanding System Resiliency, and Most Improved.

National ReliabilityOne Award recipients:

Florida Power & Light Company and San Diego Gas & Electric

The ReliabilityOne National Reliability Award goes to the utility that showcases a focus on customer service, technology deployment, operational successes, and data and analytics. For the second time, the award had a tie. Both Florida Power & Light Company and San Diego Gas & Electric excelled across outage restoration practices, real time situational awareness, sophisticated fault locating technology, comprehensive data capture, security review and analytics, proactive customer outreach programs, and innovative customer self-serve options.

This year’s six Regional ReliabilityOne Awards recipients are:

ReliabilityOne Award recipients for specific areas of outstanding performance are:

The awards reception was held at Skybox in San Diego before an audience that included energy industry experts and senior management of leading utilities.

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