Around the world there is a growing focus on energy networks and operators’ responsibility for the planning, construction, and maintenance of grids and pipelines. The Power industry is undergoing a transformation of alternative energy sources and new technology breakthroughs, as well as, the being tasking with improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions, and promoting safety. Achieving operational excellence has become an imperative as a result of increasing investment as well as regulatory and customer pressures—all occurring in an economically constrained environment. Utilities are challenged to go beyond achieving savings on narrow functions to develop a holistic approach that achieves true excellence—both cost efficiency and quality improvement.
MAJOR CHALLENGES FACED BY POWER INDUSTRY
- Need for Sustained Growth in Transmission and Distribution Spending
Aging infrastructure and the lack of grid reliability are becoming major concerns for regulators as well as transmission and distribution companies. At the same time, there is a push to unify electricity markets by connecting independent national and regional grids. Finally, the demand for electricity is growing rapidly—especially in countries such as Brazil, China, and India, where governments are working hard to meet that demand.
- Regulatory Pressure to Improve Performance and Asset Management
Regulatory practice has established incentive regulatory schemes such as cap regulation to encourage regulated entities to reduce operating costs, raise equipment availability and lengthen equipment life span, improve supply reliability, and increase overall grid capacity.
- Distributed Generation
Significant energy-network investments are required to integrate the growing investment in renewable-power generation. This trend will fundamentally change the operations of power networks as they adapt to the new conditions to ensure that reliability and availability are maintained.
HOW ARRELIC WILL HELP POWER INDUSTRY
- Efficient Dispatching and Emergency Management.
An automated outage-management system can be implemented to predict, locate, and optimize outage response and can be linked to the customer information system for better real-time information about the events. An integrated field-force-management system can coordinate outage responses with scheduled maintenance tasks.
- Advanced Maintenance Strategy for Ensuring Acceptable Levels of Service
Best-practice networks use wireless data-capture systems to collect data on the condition of network assets so that they are prepared to address pressing maintenance issues in a timely and efficient manner that doesn’t require them to defer critical tasks. They apply a defined asset-health index to determine a maintenance strategy for each asset class.
- Planning That Focuses on Value Creation
Top performers leverage their advanced investment and asset-management strategy to include modelling economic parameters such as net present value and value at risk in investment decisions. The combination of efficient asset replacement, regular inspection, and preventive maintenance ensures that the prescribed quality level is achieved at a lower cost.
- Investment Efficiency Through Design
It is important to homogenize processes, topologies, equipment, and material at the project level by defining standardized constructive-network modules that repeat over projects. These should be designed and developed centrally to capture scale effects and facilitate the spread of best practices.
- Lean and Systematic Monitoring of Construction Processes
Construction processes should be standardized by asset classes, and clear role definitions should be provided to reduce interaction of the different parts involved in the construction process. Lean logistics can be leveraged to align supply and construction, and the level of direct shipping to the field can be increased to minimize the need for centralized warehouses. Furthermore, construction expertise should be centralized in critical high-value assets such as substations, and appropriate measures should be implemented to reduce budget overruns.
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