New network management system aims to use data to reduce cost and improve grid reliability

Electric utilities traditionally rely on delivering power generated from central plants connected to transmission grids that lead through the distribution network and ultimately to the customer. However, electric distribution is changing rapidly as consumers continue to adopt beyond-the-meter technology that can shape grid reliability and performance—pointing toward increased risks for utilities resistant to change.

To help utilities embrace this growth opportunity, Oracle recently made significant updates to Oracle Utilities Network Management System to help enterprises more easily and effectively integrate distributed energy resources—including rooftop solar, wind turbines, and batteries—based on location and condition of use.

“Oracle Utilities Network Management System 1.12.0.2 is an advanced distribution management system [ADMS] that empowers utilities to flexibly manage distribution grid data to improve reliability and reduce cost,” said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. “It supports vital distribution automation to the substation and distributed generation management thanks to a scalable, real-time data model and optimisation engine. These capabilities are built on one of the outage management systems, as demonstrated during Superstorm Sandy, making Oracle Utilities Network Management System the  solution for utilities that need a storm-proven, scalable ADMS platform that also manages distributed energy resources.”

Existing grid technology, typically referred to as operation technology (OT), cannot manage the variable output associated with distributed energy resources or the overloads and voltage violations from back feeds and intermittency. Legacy OT, which uses a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system as its real-time data engine, cannot scale to support devices being added to the distribution grid, such as consumer energy methods (rooftop solar, electricity storage, and electric vehicles) and rapidly growing data volume. Utilities lack the ability to model and plan for distributed energy resources and their potential for grid disruption.

With Oracle Utilities Network Management System 1.12.0.2, utilities can easily integrate distributed energy resources to better manage load and improve grid reliability while reducing costs and the need to bring additional generation resources online. This updated Oracle Utilities solution supports increased customer choice to participate in demand response, load shifting, and the sales of excess and stored distributed energy resources into other markets.

In Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Advanced Distribution Management Systems[1], which evaluates technology vendor capabilities as they relate to modernising distribution grid operations and satisfying customer expectations, Gartner named Oracle in advanced distribution management based on the company’s ability to execute and completeness of vision.

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