GE has completed the installation of smart grid technologies to help Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) overcome the two major challenges of power interruptions: restoration and customer communications. The newly installed GE PowerOn Outage Management System (OMS) helps CSU respond more quickly to power outages, while providing consumers with updated restoration-time estimates when outages do occur.

The system improves customer service by providing network analysis tools to identify outage locations on the CSU electrical network and efficiently dispatch crews, speeding the repair process. PowerOn also provides restoration time estimates for consumers who call in, keeping them updated until restoration is complete. Leveraging these GE smart grid tools, CSU can significantly reduce the overall impact of service interruptions.

Without automation technologies, utilities are dependent on manual processes to identify failed network components and manage the restoration process. However, with smart grid technologies, utilities are able to pinpoint failed devices within seconds, automatically dispatch crews and restore power quickly—while keeping their customers informed of the status of the power outage. The result: improved reliability and customer satisfaction.

GE is currently enhancing the system with PowerOn Mobile, which will put more real-time information and communications capabilities in the hands of crews in the field. A future project phase will integrate the OMS with CSU’s new smart meters and automated metering infrastructure, which will help detect outages sooner and restore service faster.