Oncor tackles big data challenge with IBM


Joel Austin,
VP and CIO,
Armonk, NY and Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 12, 2012 – Oncor’s big data project involving 15 minute data from its 3 million smart meters installed to date is showing benefits.

The project, implemented by IBM along with Ecologic Analytics and Landis+Gyr, integrates an advanced metering system with a sophisticated outage management system. The consolidated solution pushes relevant information to and from Oncor offices and customer’s personal, interactive web portals.  

The metering system provides near real time insight into energy usage, enabling consumers to play an active role in monitoring and conserving energy – with many Texan households noting a 10 percent decrease in energy usage since the implementation and consumption reductions of up to 40 percent recorded in Oncor’s Biggest Energy Saver contest.

The outage management system automatically reports power issues and outages within seconds, and flags emerging, potential issues in the grid. To date the new system has detected more than 20 percent of outages before customers called. For example, of the more than 1,400 notifications automatically received from the outage system in March and April 2012, more than half resulted in the outage being restored before a customer reported it.  

“We want to take the lead in our industry on bringing the benefits of the advanced grid, including fewer outages and more customer control over bills, to the people we serve” said Joel Austin, vice president and chief information officer of Oncor. “Through this partnership, we’re able to maintain our commitment to driving consumer engagement, while maintaining the high reliability and efficiency our customers expect from us.”

The smart grid is based on IBM hardware and software, including IBM POWER7 Servers and IBM Informix database software to manage the massive amounts of data produced by the smart meters.

Oncor plans to have installed approximately 3.2 million advanced meters across Texas by the end of the year.