As deregulation and competition become a reality for electric utilities, information technology emerges as an indispensable component in the efficient operation of power systems.

The importance of up-to-date, accurate information cannot be overemphasized in ensuring high power quality and reliable service to customers. To this end, Carolina Power & Light Co. (CP&L), Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., is aggressively investing time and resources to implement its Energy Delivery Strategic Initiative (EDSI). The program intends to provide critical operating information to engineers and account managers. EDSI, which CP&L has installed in transmission and distribution substations, will monitor, record and store information relative to the operation of the electrical distribution system. The strategic initiative collects data on loading, interruptions, voltage disturbances and other electrical events at all 285 substations throughout the CP&L service area. In addition, the initiative provides for remote operation of selected areas of the distribution system.

By monitoring these events, account managers will be able to ensure that power-quality problems are addressed in a timely manner, alleviating potential production shutdowns. The EDSI consists of three main components:

* Power quality and load monitoring. * Distribution supervisory control and data acquisition (DSCADA). * Capacitor control.