T&D World Magazine

Utilities Work Together to Facilitate Migration to New GIS

Electric cooperatives and small municipal utilities looking for a replacement Geographic Information System (GIS) for managing electric asset information are finding help from Telvent’s utility group. Some of these energy suppliers have found they have such similar requirements and goals that they are working together as a group, with the guidance of Telvent, to facilitate data conversions and share data model concepts and costs.

Several coops and smaller municipal power providers have found themselves in the position to be looking for a replacement GIS - after the discontinued availability and support of their legacy system. These utilities include Hart Electric Membership Corp. (Hart EMC), a member-owned electric cooperative in Northern Georgia; Pulaski Electric System serving Giles County in Tennessee; the City of Loveland (Colorado) Water and Power; and Kaukauna Utilities, owned and operated by the community of Kaukauna, Wisconsin. They report investigating alternatives and choosing to migrate to the ArcFM GIS Solution, developed by Telvent’s utility group on the ESRI ArcGIS platform, because of the system’s various features and the support that Telvent is providing during the migration process.

The ArcFM GIS Solution uses an open architecture, giving it the flexibility to integrate with other systems the utilities already have in place and provide the utility-specific functionality to help streamline workflows. Further, it offers a MultiSpeak-compliant model, standard for electric cooperatives.

Telvent is reviewing the requirements of all of these utilities and developing a common path for migration from their current, mutual platform to the ArcFM platform - an approach that helps reduce the cost for each utility involved. Integrations and functionality extensions, such as a staking package, also are being investigated and shared among the utilities, as are training programs.

David Kelley, manager GIS at Pulaski Electric System - the oldest municipal electric system in Tennessee and the first in that state to receive power from the Tennessee Valley Authority - indicated PES had firm criteria when searching for its replacement GIS: “We wanted a system that would be stable, proven, and supported,” Kelley said. “Further, it had to allow us to continue with daily work with minimal or no workflow change. Finally, it had to conform to ESRI’s vision of open data structures, allowing us to work toward a more centralized GIS serving not only the utility but also our city and county.”

Russell Shirley, manager of Technical Services at Hart EMC, added that his utility chose the ArcFM Solution because “with it we can develop in-house custom code and make it do what we want.”

Thomas Greene, Utility Information Manager for the City of Loveland Water and Power Department, concurred, “The ArcFM core application provides valuable tools while allowing us to configure it for our specific use. The Loveland Water and Power Utilities group has been developing GIS for almost 20 years, and we’re finding the ArcFM Solution accommodates our needs very well.”

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