Extreme weather tests Glitre Nett's emergency preparedness and IT systems

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/11/2024, Location: Europe

In October 2023, Southern Norway experienced unusually extreme weather, which challenged both the power grid and the grid company Glitre Nett's emergency response systems. Within 24 hours, the company handled more than 2,000 error messages. The infrastructure and contingency plans of the grid company were pushed to its limits.

Atle Ripegutu, who is head of department for process control at Glitre Nett, describes the incident.

“Within a few hours, the region was hit by winds with hurricane strength in their gusts. We had just over 300 faults in the high-voltage grid and more than 1,700 faults in the low-voltage grid. Thousands of our customers were affected," says Ripegutu.

These hours put the company's response time and coordination ability to a serious test.

Logged over 13,000 phone calls
"The biggest challenge during the storm was to deal with the many low-voltage faults, which require direct messages from the public to get an overview. We logged over 13,000 phone calls, which really underlines the volume of communication and how both installers and customers are critical in our error handling process," says Ripegutu.

The heart of Glitre Nett's handling was their Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS), a system that proved to be invaluable in crisis management. Glitre Nett has collaborated with Volue for almost 20 years to develop the system, and they now have a powerful solution that is capable of handling all kinds of challenges.

“ADMS collects data from the grid company's professional systems such as information systems, customer systems, and damage controls. This means that all messages that come in are collected in one image. For example, you get an overview of all error messages from customers, as well as messages from operators who are out in the field. You also get pictures of the error, where it exists”, explains Sjur Messel Nafstad, product owner at Volue, which has delivered the system to Glitre Nett.

This real-time data integration gave Glitre Nett a complete situational picture, which was crucial for effective fault management and communication during the storm.

ADMS provides completely new opportunities
"During the extreme storm we experienced, all functions of ADMS were put to the test. The unique thing about the system is how it allows us to scale operations tremendously quickly. Normally, the entire power system from Scada and ADMS is handled by one operator, but when the situation escalated, we expanded to almost 50 users in a few hours. This shows the flexibility and capacity ADMS has under pressure”, said Ripegutu.

The incident shows not only the importance of technological preparedness in the event of natural disasters, but also the ongoing need to develop and integrate new systems. The collection of different data sources is key. This creates new insights that cannot be achieved without the data being seen in context.

ADMS provides completely new opportunities for monitoring power grids, especially during crises such as extreme weather. With real-time data from various sources, operators get a holistic picture of the grid. This image is essential for quick and efficient error handling.

"ADMS makes it possible for operators to handle faults in high-voltage grids and control where installers should move out more efficiently," says Nafstad.

This technology strengthens the coordinated response from monitoring to active intervention.

Centralising data
Nafstad further emphasises that the potential of ADMS lies not only in the existing functions, but also in the possibilities for integration with other systems and technologies to strengthen the energy system.

"A core component of our strategy has been to centralise data to maximixe network benefit. When we started integrating AMS data and Scada data into our operational processes, it gave us a quantum leap in how we can utilise this information to improve every day and crisis-related operations, says Ripegutu in Glitre Nett.

A learning point for both Glitre Nett and Volue, which they take with them from the extreme weather in the autumn of 2023, is that the future of ADMS lies in more integrated and intelligent solutions, which will improve the response to events such as extreme weather and contribute to more efficient and sustainable energy management. The challenge is to continue to innovate and adapt the systems to future requirements and ensure that the technology is available to all players in the industry.

The collaboration between Volue and Glitre Nett has been going on for many years. The first meetings were held as early as the early 2000s. The strategic collaboration has taken time, but has also created greater value, precisely because the parties are well known – and that they work together to develop systems that are sustainable.

A long-term partner
"Our journey with Volue has been fundamental in strengthening the system's functionality and robustness. We have spent many hours together to shape a system that not only meets our current needs, but also provides us with effective decision support. Through the collaboration with the skilled people at Volue, I feel we have really managed to create a tool that is at the centre of our crisis management, says Ripegutu.

"We are reaping the benefits now, but the potential extends far into the future," he continues.

“A long-term perspective is important. Our goal is to create systems that provide effective decision support, and then you have to have a strategic view of the whole," concludes Sjur Messel Nafstad.

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