VEC recognizes that the safe and reliable operation of the grid is important both to deliver energy to our members and to provide a reliable interconnection for distributed generation projects. VEC has been an innovator when it comes to the implementation of smart grid technology. VEC’s Control Center is staffed around-the-clock, seven days a week by qualified System Operators. VEC’s control center and its crews use many tools to decrease outages and make sure VEC is providing safe and reliable power.
Annual Reliability Report (4.900)
VEC is required to file an annual report, which contains a detailed assessment of annual outage performance as well as a plan for how to improve reliability to its members. VEC’s Service Quality and Reliability Plan (SQRP) identifies requirements for VEC’s System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI).
2019 PUC Rule 4.900 Report
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) enables VEC to view real time data as to the status of equipment and other assets (open vs. closed for instance) as well as their analog values (power, voltage, current, etc.). It also allows us to remotely operate assets such as reclosers and switches.
Outage Management System (OMS)
VEC has used an Outage Management System (OMS) supplied by the National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) since February 2008. The system relies on four inputs:
- AMI meter information provided by Aclara.
- Integrated Voice Response (IVR) automated phone system data.
- Member service inputs from the VEC Member Service Department.
- Inputs from VEC’s external overflow call center
AMI Metering Systems
VEC has been operating its present AMI system since 2005. It relies on Powerline Carrier (PLC) communication to provide two-way communications between the substations and meters. Data backhaul from the substation to the Johnson Headquarters is provided using mostly fiber optic cable. The system is extremely reliable and on average provides 99.7% read performance. VEC utilizes this system for all residential and small commercial and industrial consumers. The meter data is housed by a Meter Data Management (MDM) system and used for a variety of applications including iVUE (billing), transformer loading analysis, and VEC’s consumer interface application, SmartHub. The data was also recently used for DOE Consumer Behavior Study which focused on implementing Variable Peak Pricing. VEC runs monthly voltage reports on all AMI meters on its system to verify that voltage (+/- 5% of nominal) is being provided to its members. Learn more.
Vermont Weather Analytics
The Vermont Weather Analytics Center (VTWAC) is a powerful tool that enables utilities to better protect communities, meet customer needs, and garner renewable energy’s full value. VTWAC delivers advance weather forecasts up to three days ahead, precise to 1 km², linked to customer demand data and to solar and wind generation models. Partners in this work included every local Vermont utility, state agencies, renewable energy developers, Vermont academic institutions and the formidable intellectual resources of IBM Research. The results are the most precise and accurate wind and solar generation forecasts in the world.
As the penetration of renewables increases, there is a need for accurate monitoring of generation output, load forecasts and generation forecasts. VEC has taken an active role in the Vermont Weather Analytics Center. The joint effort between Vermont Distribution Utilities, VELCO, and IBM is to increase grid reliability, lower weather-related operational costs and optimize the use of renewable generation resources.
The Center uses four models:
- Deep Thunder which will produce accurate weather forecasts up to 48 hours in advance down to 2 sq km,
- Demand Forecast Model which will increase the accuracy of state load forecasts,
- Renewable Forecast Model which will produce generation forecasts for solar and wind farms, and
- Renewable Integration Stochastic Engine which will integrate the results of the aforementioned models to optimize the value of Vermont's generation, demand response, and transmission assets.