IBM, Telvent and Hydro One aim to improve Ontario’s grid
By Anthony Capkun
April 12, 2012 – IBM and business partner Telvent announced they have been selected by Hydro One—a distributor of electricity in Ontario—for a new smart grid project that aims to transform the province’s electrical system. Together, the companies will run simulations and tests to determine the smart grid technologies that have the potential to improve power efficiency and reliability.
“As equipment on our distribution system ages, it needs to be replaced. This creates an opportunity to create a world-class network with new, intelligent and sophisticated technologies to meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Rick Stevens, VP asset management, Hydro One. “Our collaboration with IBM and Telvent will help Hydro One assess the next generation of distribution equipment and make the right choices for our customers looking for more reliable electricity, particularly in rural areas.”
Installed in the 1950s, many components of Ontario’s current electricity distribution system have reached the end of their service life. More recently, technological advancements, provincial governmental policy, market forces and increased environmental awareness have added pressure to the demands on Ontario’s electricity distribution system.
The Advanced Distribution System (ADS) project will help the utility identify and assess equipment, test new delivery models for electricity, validate the costs and benefits anticipated with a new smart grid and recommend changes to cost effectively modernize Ontario’s distribution system. The project intends to enable an increased amount of distributed generation into the grid as well as help increase the reliability of the current distribution system and improve outage management during large scale situations.
By taking advantage of the insights gained from new data sources based on analytics, the partners say Hydro One will be able to optimize energy utilization and management for greater efficiency while accommodating consumer demand.
“Utilities around the world are investigating new smart grid technologies to help solve complex challenges caused by an aging infrastructure and increasing demand,” said Guido Bartels, GM of IBM’s Energy & Utilities Industry and chair of the Global Smart Grid Federation. “Together with Hydro One, we are paving the way for transformation by testing new sophisticated monitoring and control technologies that will enable the integration of renewable energy in the distribution grid while improving its reliability and responsiveness, and ensuring customer satisfaction. This will prepare Hydro One and the province of Ontario for further growth and deliver more affordable and reliable renewable energy for Ontarians.”
As the overall system integrator, IBM will provide expertise in smart grid technologies, planning and implementation to oversee the reliability of the network solution. Hydro One will use Telvent’s Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS)—a real-time solution that will provide complete functionality for planning, operation and analysis of its distribution system. This will allow Hydro One to more accurately manage and plan their grid investments.
According to Telvent’s Chairman and CEO, Ignacio Gonzalez, “In addition to the ADMS solution, Hydro One will benefit from the strategic collaboration between Telvent and IBM. Over the years, we have provided solutions to several large utilities to help make mid-project technology adjustments while increasing the speed of the solution development”.