MVEC has put programs in place over the last 10 years to help control power costs. The collection of more data has enabled the utility to develop and implement these programs. Why not take the data collected on individual meters and help consumers to reduce their power costs, as well? This can be done through web displays of their data or notifications when their usage becomes abnormal compared to their normal usage patterns.

How about tying SCADA and AMI data together with the engineering model to help identify areas with high losses? Is it possible to develop plans down to the substation, feeder and phase level that will help to reduce losses or identify energy theft without additional equipment being needed?

While helping to identify areas where high-energy losses are occurring and helping consumers to manage their electric bills better are admirable thoughts, none of it will happen unless better analytic tools are developed and used. Workloads will need to be shifted for people to have time to look at the data being generated, and an effort to automate as much of the analysis as possible will need to be made.

The shift from being reactive to proactive will not come without intentionally choosing to go in that direction. Adding more equipment to the electric system will not be of benefit unless the utility chooses to make use of the datathat is returned. With hundreds of millions or billions of rows of data being stored for somebody to look at someday, why not start today?

Acknowledgments

This article would not have been able to be written without the efforts of our engineering technical services team: Dean Koopmann, Keith Helmold, Chad Wieser, Tom Paar, Denny Schwebke and Eli Hunerdosse. Their dedication to keeping the systems operating on a daily basis allows for the data to be collected and used to help our consumers have greater reliability.

Mark Scheibe (mscheibe@mvec.com) is the distribution engineering supervisor at Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative. He is responsible for the system planning and design, and oversees AMI, SCADA and the GIS and OMS systems. Scheibe holds a BSEE degree from Iowa State University and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Iowa.

Jeremy Richert (jrichert@mvec.com) is the director of engineering for Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative. He holds a BSEE degree from Iowa State University and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Iowa.

Editor’s note: This article is based on a presentation given at TechAdvantage.