SCL AMI Program Boots Up Big Data With Landis+Gyr

Last year, Seattle City Light began its ambitious AMI deployment planning encompassing advanced meters, distribution devices and intelligent sensors from Landis+Gyr. Last month, the vendor announced that SCL is taking the next step: layering on the company’s advanced grid analytics (AGA) platform.

The majority of residential and commercial customers will begin receiving new meters in the summer of 2017. This incremental approach will only realize full functionality and benefits once the entire system and AGA platform are installed by December, 2018.

AMI Deployment Ramps Up

“We’ve deployed over 8000 meters since October, mostly new residential and condos,” explains JR Gonzalez, the AMI Program manager at SCL. “Mass deployment is planned to begin in Q3, 2017.” For those customers who request for opt-out, SCL will provide meters that are identical except have no RF capability.

Source: Seattle City Light

Source: Seattle City Light

Although SCL has been collecting and storing AMI data since April, the billing solution is not yet in place to use it. The Meter Data Management System (Oracle MDMS) will store data for up to 6 years, while daily data from the AMI Meters will be stored at the Head End Software at L+G’s Command Center in Kansas, for approximately 45 days, where the Advanced Grid Analytics solution will be hosted. Landis+Gyr will operate and maintain the advanced metering RF Network system and provide Meter Data management services under contract.

This infrastructure sets up a tidal wave of data for SCL. “For comparison, today SCL collects 18 million data points in total, across the old meters, annually,” explains Gonzalez. “The new AMI meters will collect between 30 million to 120 million data points daily. That’s classic big data, where advanced grid analytics are so important to transform the data across the utility.”

Multi-phase Rollout of Analytics Suite

To derive actionable information for daily operations and intelligent planning from all that data, SCL has planned a multiphase approach to bring online Landis+Gyr advanced grid analytics suite of applications.

  • In the first phase, SCL will use the Model Validation and Reliability Planner to improve accuracy of the connectivity model, to reduce engineering time and optimize future reliability improvement projects.
  • The next phase, by the end of the year, will be the Asset Loading application for capacity planning and Revenue Protection to help the utility detect and reduce revenue losses more efficiently. “Our customer care group wants this module to detect power theft as well as line losses,” said Gonzalez. “It will take a few months to bring up each module.”

Landis+Gyr’s AGA platform will help SCL assess the health of assets to prevent potential failures, monitor and manage load, enable voltage management programs and help reduce technical and non-technical losses. The planning functions allow the utility to optimize capital improvement programs, while gaining insights to manage the integration of renewable energy resources. For customers, it will mean faster response to power outages, and higher efficiencies to help hold down electricity costs.

Helping Customers Take Control of Energy Usage

In fact, another project being implemented at the same time of the AGA modules, separate from the City Light’s AMI Program is the Customer Portal. The Customer Portal will be integrated to the AMI Meter Data Management System, and the Head End Software (Data Operations Center). The Portal will open up a wealth of information directly to SCL customers. They will be able to view their energy usage through the customer portal, where they can pay their bills and manage their accounts. “They will be able to look at the energy profile of their meters, see energy usage in different ways, and set thresholds and targets,” says JR. “In fact, they will be able to build dashboards based on how they want to look at data. The prepaid power component will be very useful for customers who may occasionally face difficulty in making payments.” Much of the information and alerts will also be available through mobile applications.

You can read more about the SCL AMI initiative on this page on its website.