Oracle’s Smart Grid Software to Link Utilities Operations and Consumer Access to Detailed Consumption Data


CS WEEK 2009, Washington, D.C. – May 19, 2009 – Oracle Utilities announced the introduction of Oracle’s smart grid software – an end-to-end software offering including mission-critical applications and back-end technology infrastructure. The products are designed to support utilities as they work to optimize the value of their smart grid components today while advancing toward a complete smart grid build out that leverages advances in IT, communications technology and energy technology to improve delivery utilization/resilience and empower consumers to address environmental concerns.

Oracle offers a pragmatic approach to smart grid deployment, allowing utilities to begin recognizing the benefits of the smart grid now, while supporting a transition to a full smart grid architecture in the future, with lower cost and risk.

Oracle’s smart grid software is a comprehensive, multi-solution software offering that addresses the two sides of the smart grid paradigm – allowing utilities to choose how to manage their operations and provide information to consumers to enable them to make better energy usage decisions.

The offering helps to support cross-utility business processes, such as implementation of demand response and energy conservation programs that help utilities control and conserve power, take advantage of renewable energy and deliver information to end consumers to empower decision making. It also helps to accelerate and improve grid maintenance as well as repair and sizing, while enabling compliance with regulatory changes and accommodation of emerging standards.

In the recent Oracle survey, “Turning Information Into Power: Moving Toward the Smart Grid,” the vast majority of consumers surveyed reported concern about the energy costs at their primary residence and are interested in receiving more detailed information about their energy use. Also, utilities managers surveyed believe it is critical that the United States adopt smart grid technologies. However, only 16 percent of the utilities surveyed have begun the implementation of smart grid technologies.

Oracle’s Smart Grid Software Details

Oracle’s smart grid software unifies information from various segments of the Smart Grid network, including service delivery, customer interaction and consumer energy usage. Components of Oracle® Fusion Middleware underlie these applications with processes that help integrate and manage large meter data batch files with Oracle Data Integrator or automate meter and sensor data filtering and front-end processing using Oracle Complex Event Processing. The solution also provides standards-based integration with a technology infrastructure that includes Oracle® Database, as well as software for project management and enterprise analytics. Oracle’s smart grid software includes the following solutions:

Oracle® Utilities Network Management System – Integrates with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), allowing utilities to proactively respond to outages and be more precise when providing consumer alerts and notifications – enabling the smart meter to send a “last gasp” message to report a power loss thus eliminating the need for a customer to report the outage. Oracle Utilities Network Management System also supports automated isolation of faulted feeder sections and the re-energizing of un-faulted sections, minimizing sustained outages. Its integrated distribution capability supports the continual assessment of power delivery and available feeder capacity in a distribution network that optimizes operations.

Oracle® Utilities Customer Care and Billing – Allows utilities to harness the benefits of new smart grid technologies and AMI, such as two-way communications, to better contain operational costs and control consumer energy demand through conservation and time-based pricing programs, as well as improve customer service and environmental awareness. It can provide customers with a clear picture of the relationship between their consumption and environmental impact, then offer service options to help change behavior.

Oracle® Utilities Load Analysis – Performs peak load analysis, including coincidental peak demand analysis by customer rate class. This solution also balances premise level loads to system loads, incorporating variable,fixed losses and unaccounted for energy.

Oracle® Utilities Work and Asset Management – Provides complete asset lifecycle management, which can ultimately extend the life of aging assets, enable utilities to manage network renewal projects, and enhance cost control and visibility while improving system reliability and customer service. In addition, by monitoring and performing maintenance on a timely basis, utilities can reduce the environmental impact resulting from equipment failure.

Oracle® Utilities Mobile Workforce Management – Supports efforts to ensure service availability and automate field operations via dispatch, scheduling and routing. It provides field workers the optimal route with the least mileage and fewest truck rolls, which helps reduce fuel consumption, highway congestion and tailpipe emissions.

Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management – Provides a centralized, robust system to support smart grid and green initiatives by connecting AMI usage data and presentment tools, so consumers can view their usage – allowing them to make informed conservation decisions. Utilities can also configure the application to support demand response programs including: customer recruitment, event planning, event notification and compliance.

Oracle® Hyperion Performance Management applications and Oracle® Primavera applications – Leverage comprehensive performance and project management functionality to enable the planning, scheduling and installation of utility-controlled renewable devices – such as solar panels on homes and buildings.

Oracle Database – Scales to tackle exponential growth in data and enables utilities to more effectively manage network operational data to improve performance.

Oracle Governance, Risk and Compliance – Simplifies compliance with NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) and FERC (U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) with an enterprise GRC platform for standards and policy documentation; risk-based assessment; and closed-loop remediation, certification, and reporting. Integrated controls monitoring also enforce segregation of duties to reduce the risk of improper access and fraudulent activities.

“As utilities move toward leveraging the power of the smart grid, Oracle is prepared to support the industry with the tools they need to manage operations agilely and communicate rapidly with consumers for maximum efficiency. The flexibility and scalability of our smart grid software, as well as Oracle’s broad software offering, enable both immediate benefits now and an easier transition to a full smart grid architecture in the future,” said Quentin Grady, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities.

“Utilities face many challenges as they make the move toward the smart grid – from providing consumers with actionable information about their energy use, to preparing to accept new renewable energy sources into the grid. Utilities can maximize success by developing detailed transition plans, securing buy-in from stakeholders and implementing integrated, standards-based technology. We have been very impressed by the initial ‘smart grid’ strides made by Oracle’s utility R&D team in its evolving Oracle Utilities Network Management System suite. Oracle’s end-to-end solution – from back-end database to mission-critical applications – can help support both the ‘traditional’ IT computing requirements and the operational computing requirements of electric utilities as they take the first steps,” said Chuck Newton, president, Newton-Evans Research Company.

“Applications software, along with intelligent devices and communications networks, is one of three critical technology components of the smart grid. It enables utilities to turn large volumes of real-time data into actionable information they can use to implement demand response programs, integrate renewable and distributed energy resources and improve grid operations. The software required for the smart grid includes both new applications such as meter data management and advanced analytics, as well as modifications and updates to existing applications such as customer information systems and distribution management systems,” said Rick Nicholson, vice president, Energy Insights, an IDC company.