The electric power system has been getting smarter for decades, as new technologies allow better analysis and greater control. But most utilities have implemented these technologies in a piecemeal...
into its CIS. With the new system, data from the field goes to the outage management system and then to the CIS as well. As a result, Pellegrini says, the CIS updates outage information immediately. The company worked hard to integrate the two systems, he says, and as a result customer service representatives at the company have at their disposal much more information than ever before, such as whether a truck has been dispatched to a particular area, what the time estimates are for service restoration, and even whether field personnel are on site. "That's a big enhancement. ... I think this is going to be a tremendously faster and quicker way to get information to our customers, which is what they want," Pelligrini says.
Whether a utility decides to outsource or upgrade its own systems to incorporate CIS into its outage management plan, BG&E's Pelligrini advises taking an incremental approach to implementation. "Layer it in. Bring in a small piece, and make sure it runs properly before layering it across the entire [CIS] system."
And even more to the point: "Don't put anything out you're unsure about."
Considering the success Pelligrini had with his CIS system during Hurricane Isabel, that's deceptively simple advice.
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