Hydro One is the largest electricity transmission and distribution service provider in Ontario, Canada, serving nearly 1.4 million predominantly rural electricity customers covering approximately 75 percent of the province’s geographic area. Hydro One manages and maintains enough distribution lines to wrap around the Earth three times.
Hydro One was developing a plan for improving data quality and replacing custom legacy data modeling software. They wanted to understand how new standards and vendor offerings might guide their roadmap with a Model Data Management assessment and recommendations to introduce new platforms and processes. PSC’s independent expertise in energy management, distribution management, power system studies and IT helped Hydro One plan and confidently justify their decision-making.
Hydro One’s Operating Technology (OT) focus had been on completing and commissioning a new Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS). Next on the list of priorities was a plan for an aging Energy Management System (EMS). Evolution planning was in the early stages and internally developed tools were due for a technology refresh. A survey of the marketplace demonstrated that major simplifications in architecture were possible. Still, Hydro One needed to understand at what level of maturity, and how easy such a transition could be. A sound choice for the path forward could provide a large reward, but the risk of disrupting critical day-to-day activity had to be carefully considered and mitigated.
Hydro One requested PSC’s expertise in identifying, analyzing and recommending a prioritized path forward to update necessary systems, retire obsolete systems and identify custom solutions that could be replaced by commercial software. The company was also looking to optimize the implementation plan to minimize disruptions to Hydro One employees and System Operations.
PSC has strong technical experience with Hydro One’s chosen EMS vendor technology but was not familiar with system users’ perspectives, business drivers or the scope of the legacy OT support tooling. PSC approached this exercise with a discovery and requirements collection exercise, collecting input for recommendations involving both home-grown and commercial technology and setting the stage for the evolution of the production EMS system.
PSC participated in on-site workshops with Architecture, System Operations, Power System Planning and other OT support organizations within Hydro One. With input collected, PSC then evaluated the state and functionality of the home-grown tooling, recent standards-based industry initiatives and currently available vendor tools necessary to simplify the Hydro One tooling and associated processes.
Hydro One used PSC’s recommendations report to prioritize and plan to evolve the key software and processes in scope for the project. With PSC’s assessment as input, Hydro One has been able to plan confidently and justify decisions involving simplification and evolution of their business processes to plan, study and update configuration models in their production Operational Technology systems.
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