Treverity has successfully completed the transition from a management consulting company to a software company with a robust set of solutions that bring Human Integration to the utility core data platforms.
In the summer of 2012, CenterPoint Energy (CNP) completed a multiyear project to install 2.3 million smart meters throughout the company’s electric service territory. These meters are the foundation of the intelligent grid that CNP has spent years designing and constructing. Thanks to smart meters and other elements of the intelligent grid, CNP receives hundreds of millions of data elements every day. As a result, the amount of data maintained by the company has risen 83 percent. However, what benefit can come from having a mountain of data pouring into the company’s operations computers on a daily basis? How can anyone sift through so much information and interpret meaningful facts in time to put them to practical use?
CNP’s Distribution Control Operations needed the ability to see a programmatic and graphic representation of power outages and crew locations in near real time to ensure distribution reliability. The team was drowning in data, presented with a vast amount of information from various core programs and needing to bring all the key data together.
CNP’s Operational and Corporate Analytics group worked closely with Distribution Control and partnering with analytics services company, Treverity. We assessed the need and developed Treverity EDGE™, a software solution that correlates and analyzes the ocean of continuously updating information and translates it into invaluable geospatial and situational awareness. The result has been a new approach in massing data into near-real-time views that produce measurable results in critical areas affecting reliability, customer satisfaction and revenue forecasting. This data analytics system, which quickly and accurately reflects how the distribution system is operating in near real time, makes CenterPoint Energy’s intelligent grid possible. One goal of this system is to analyze the millions of pieces of data that aren’t working together into an integrated system to enable better operational decisions and control in all conditions.
The sooner the right information can be obtained, the sooner a decision can be made in a continuously changing arena. The analytics team responded by developing the Treverity EDGE™ platform, which can sift through and evaluate information much more quickly than a human can by determining which of these millions of data points is out of the ordinary and displaying that information on screens for everyone involved in the process. Those screens display outage information updated every five minutes. As this technology has been deployed across the company, everyone involved in the process – from the lineman in the field to the executive in the office – can see how the system is performing minute by minute. These visual displays have helped answer the questions every operations center asks: “Where am I, what is my status and what is my next best action?” Operations is now equipped to affect the outcome rather than merely responding to the storm. Instead of searching through pages and pages of screens to determine where the trouble is and where the crews are, Distribution Control now has the answers right in front of them, as well as a prediction of where crews will be needed in one hour.
Historically, data was rendered in a static concept. Batch reports might be run against a standard group of data sets, rendering a collection of information that represents the situation as it was at a particular moment. Only a few years ago, Distribution Control Operations managed major power outage events by monitoring the location and status of each line technician crew as they responded to possibly thousands of outages. In contrast, the data analytics system pulls information in real time, prioritizes it according to its SAIDI impact and presents it in a clear format that enables quicker response and more efficient use of manpower. Data analytics can help correlate the type of trouble with the closest crew available with the skill set to deal with that trouble and project how many crews will be available to respond to further trouble in both thirty minutes and one hour. This enables the proper staging and movement of crews to ensure that the entire system receives the number of resources to deal with the current level of trouble, which results in huge savings in truck rolls, man-hours and outage durations.
Since deploying data analytics, CenterPoint Energy has seen measurable reductions in the number of minutes that its electric customers are without power. Since 2011, the company’s intelligent grid has saved customers more than 100 million outage minutes, and in 2014, the company’s electric reliability improved by 32 percent. Data analytics is having a major impact for CenterPoint Energy in other ways as well, from faster detection of electricity theft to improved revenue forecasting.