GE to boost SCADA systems of New Zealand utilities

GE Renewable Energy Grid Solutions is to help two New Zealand distribution utilities upgrade their traditional supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Top Energy supplies 31,000 customers in New Zealand’s North Island, while Northpower operates an electricity network in the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts of Northland, with almost 60,000 customers.Using GE's ADMS will give utilities better efficiency during storms in New Zealand

Both companies will use GE’s Advanced Distribution Management Solutions (ADMS) to provide them with better information to support decision making on the network, especially during storm response and major incidents.

The ADMS utilizes adaptive algorithms and predictive analytics to enable automation of routine tasks and real-time monitoring of the network.

GE said implementing common systems will “drive down costs, improve reliability, and enhance the customer experience across the Northland region”. It added that the ADMS will also support dynamic network operations as more renewables come on to the grid.

Northpower’s network general manager Josie Boyd said the ADMS “will provide a platform for enhanced outage management and improved safety outcomes. Importantly, it will provide a platform on which we can build visibility of our low voltage (400 volt) lines to support the distributed energy resources that connect to our network.”

Top Energy’s Gordon Ramsay noted that “the provision of real-time flags showing the predicted location of critical faults as they occur on the network will improve decision making when diagnosing faults, leading to quicker restoration times”.

Ramsay also highlighted the operational health and safety improvements that will arise from the roll-out, “Embedding network operating and access management business rules into the system that work with the control room operator will help ensure safe operation of the network and the health and safety of the field staff. That’s a critical outcome.”

GE’s Stephen Ellis said the new system will mean improved safety for the utilities’ field crews and more efficient outage restoration efforts. “Having a clear view of the full network helps utilities drive situational awareness, manage planned and unplanned work, mobilize resources and efficiently restore the network after an outage.”

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