New Zealand utility selects GE Digital for advanced distribution management

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New Zealand-based utility Counties Energy has partnered with GE Digital to speed up its digital transformation for improved grid operations and customer services.

Counties Energy will deploy an advanced distribution management system from GE Digital and combine it with the company’s existing geographic information system (GIS) for network reliability, efficiency and flexibility.

The project will enable the utility to leverage grid and consumer data to enhance the resiliency of the energy network.

The combination of the two platforms will enable smarter, sustainable, and innovative energy services and solutions that deliver better customer experiences, operational efficiencies, and the ability to manage growth intelligently, ultimately shaping a future-proofed energy platform, according to a statement.

The solution integrates SCADA with distribution and outage management systems to come up with a single platform for grid control and information sharing. The project will enable Counties Energy to provide operators with an accurate connected single view of the end-to-end network of assets with a fully digital as-built process flowing from the field to the GIS system and on to the ADMS.

Data from smart meters will be used to provide a clear image of the grid and to increase the accuracy of the traditional SCADA high and medium voltage view.

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The solution will enable the use of analytics to have a clear view of the impact of weather on the grid as well as to prepare for harsh weather events before they occur.

Moonis Vegdani, Counties Energy’s group general manager of technology and digital said with his firm serving one of the fastest-growing areas in New Zealand, adopting digital technologies will enable the creation of “intergenerational value for our customers by enabling a reliable electricity network and diverse energy choices and offerings.”

Vegdani, added that digital technologies will enable the utility to meet changing consumer demands, modernise infrastructure and services, remain relevant in the future and align services with the rapid emergence of new solutions.

He said: “Counties Energy is well underway on this important journey with its extensive low voltage visibility through the smart meter network. This ADMS transformation programme, with GE Digital as a partner, is a key foundational step towards the next phase of our journey.”

Jim Walsh, General Manager for GE Digital’s Grid Software business, reiterated: “With these new capabilities, they will enable greater visibility across the network and manage the growth of distributed energy resources so they can lower the carbon footprint needed for energy distribution.”