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White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Issues Call to Action for Standardized Power Outage Data

Dec. 7, 2022
Power outage data are fragmented, fragile due to external factors, and do not use a common standard. 

The Outage Data Initiative Nationwide (ODIN) is a network of leading electric service providers who are committed to providing comprehensive interoperable power outage data that enables utilities and others to exchange data freely with designated stakeholders at all levels — helping restoration, reliability, risk mitigation, emergency response, and more.

Power outage data are fragmented, fragile due to external factors, and do not use a common standard. Greater standardization allows participants to easily share data with less effort, allowing utilities to focus more time and resources on crucial restoration efforts.

As Americans face a future with greater dependence on electricity, estimates predict the extreme weather events that have driven recent power outages will worsen. Standardized outage data can provide a common base of shared information that empowers responding to emergencies, informing investments in grid resilience and restoration, delivering immediate benefits to existing emergency response systems, and providing visibility into underserved communities and infrastructure.

For greater preparedness, the White House Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSTP) announced a call that asks utilities and outage data companies to voluntarily share their outage data with ODIN.

“Real-time, standardized, and transparent power outage data are critical to enabling more equitable outcomes for American communities,” said Denice Ross, Chief Data Scientist of the United States, “and now is the perfect time to adopt an outage data standard given the unprecedented level of federal investments to enhance flexibility, increase resilience, and help modernize the electric grid.”

The Grid Resilience Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program announced $2.5 billion for utilities and related operators to reduce outages through Grid Resilience Grants and the ODIN data standard is a Program Policy Factor in the Funding Opportunity Announcement for this program.

ODIN leverages two easily implementable standards for reporting electrical power outage data via Common Information Model (CIM) IEC 61968-3 and MultiSpeak. With more than 3,000 electric utilities operating across the US — from large national corporations to local cooperatives and municipal entities — greater standardization empowers utilities to share data with any stakeholder they choose: customers, neighboring utilities, emergency management officials, and more.

Leading US electric utility vendors have incorporated ODIN standards within their outage management systems, so many utilities will only require an affirmative decision to participate. With widespread industry collaboration and one-on-one technical support available, utilities can begin participating in as little time as 30 minutes.

To Join ODIN, just follow these steps:

  1. Visit https://ODIN.ORNL.GOV and complete the contact form, or email [email protected] to connect with the ODIN technical team members.
  2. Send your ‘Participation Letter’ to ODIN.
  3. The ODIN team will receive confirmation and quickly initiate a brief kick-off meeting for implementation.
  4. Project implementation and testing can begin in less than 1-2 weeks.

As utility customers depend more and more on electricity for their lives and livelihoods, Americans must ensure that communities burdened by aging infrastructure and power outages are not left behind as electrification advances. Electric utilities and other partners are asked to join in taking a critical step forward and sharing this valuable information with the Outage Data Initiative Nationwide.

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