Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is similar to most utilities in the area of information systems and applications development and support. Its technical support organizational structure in this area, which includes separate departments for information technology (IT), operations technology (OT) and operations support (OS), has evolved over 30 years. Although the departments are separate, MGE’s current implementation of a distribution management system/outage management system (DMS/OMS), which started in 2011 as part of the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant, was a catalyst that incented the three departments to work closely together.

Technical Support Structure

MGE’s IT department supports enterprise technology applications, including a customer information system (CIS) and enterprise resource planning, as well as newly implemented systems like advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and interactive voice response (IVR). IT also is responsible for managing infrastructure and operation functions, such as telecommunications, mainframe and server administration, database administration, network administration and security.

OT is responsible for managing real-time transmission and distribution applications, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), the related telecommunications network it uses and DMS/OMS currently being implemented.

OS is responsible for the development and support of distribution operations and engineering applications, including a geographic information system (GIS) and its Oracle database, a work management system, a maintenance management system, transformer load management (TLM), planning functions and mobile field systems.

The Drivers

While OT is responsible for the overall DMS/OMS system because of its tight integration with SCADA, the new OMS, which is fully integrated with the DMS, uses and generates information that is relatively broad in scope. This requires interfaces with customer information, IVR outage calls, and AMI outage notification and restoration messages.

For this reason, IT was tasked with supporting database and application servers, security services, and the interfaces with IVR and AMI. Furthermore, the advanced DMS applications, such as on-line operator power flow and fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR), depend on an accurate and timely updated transmission and distribution network model.

As a result, OS was tasked with supporting the development of the DMS/OMS network model, model validation and end-user support because of its experience with the GIS, network modeling and network analysis. OS had been responsible for supporting the legacy in-house-built outage management application. With the new OMS being a component of the integrated SCADA/DMS
system, that support is now shared with OT.