GVEC Executive Manager of Engineering Zachary Taylor explained that the Cooperative’s new SCADA software will improve GVEC’s 24/7 monitoring ability across the entire grid. It will also enable remote monitoring beyond the Cooperative Control Center (CCC), a powerful tool for engineers like Taylor and other personnel who regularly work in the field.
In May, GVEC began implementing SurvalentONE — a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software suite — across our grid. SCADA software is designed to connect, monitor and coordinate the individual parts of complicated systems of networked devices, machines and processes. In GVEC’s case, this software helps us efficiently manage and operate our electric grid across our service area.
According to GVEC Executive Manager of Engineering Zachary Taylor, the new system will deliver critical improvements to the Cooperative’s ability to remotely monitor its electric grid in real time. Improved remote monitoring adds many benefits, which translate into marked improvements for members.
“SurvalentONE will allow us to sectionalize and isolate power outages to restrict the outage and prevent spread to adjoining sections of the grid,” Taylor said. “Cutting off an outage this way helps minimize its impact on GVEC members, meaning we’ll have fewer members without power during an outage event.”
SurvalentONE is an ideal complement to GVEC’s ongoing upgrade to fiber-based communications throughout our electric system. These upgrades have given us the ability to deliver fiber-based internet to those we serve, but fiber does much more. It also forms the backbone for a “smart grid” that can identify trouble spots on its own, preventing outages before they occur. In some instances, fiber-based smart-grid technology can even “heal” itself without human intervention, meaning members may not even experience an outage at all.
GVEC has been working to transform its grid with smart, self-healing technology for many years. Although we’ve made good progress, self-healing technology is not yet in all areas of our system. SurvalentONE, Taylor explained, will utilize our growing fiber network to form the foundation of a more robust, centralized, self-healing grid which will include control of a large number of GVEC substations.
As GVEC’s fiber expansion converges with SurvalentONE implementation, the GVEC grid will grow increasingly more sophisticated and self-reliant, Taylor said. “The net result,” he added, “will be fewer outages of shorter duration affecting fewer members. And the additional information we’ll receive from downline devices via SCADA will allow us to deploy line crews more efficiently and with greater precision to the area of the grid where an outage occurs, further reducing outage impact and duration.”
Taylor acknowledged that the most important consideration for members is that SurvalentONE will help lessen the occurrence and impact of power outages, while also saving time and money in terms of operations. “SurvalentONE will definitely have a positive impact on how we spend and invest Cooperative dollars and other resources, and that’s good for all Cooperative members.