The technology utilities are using to win over their regulators
By: SGN Staff
Quick Take: Asset management gets my vote as the smart grid's most under-appreciated application. It has three at least three important aspects. First is asset identification - in other words, figuring out just what the $#!! you have out there in the field. Many, many utilities don't really know. And what they do know is buried in paper files rather than precisely described and geo-located as it should be.
The second is asset health. Using real-time sensors and monitors to track the actual condition of key assets, then displaying it on health dashboards.
And the third is asset capital planning - determining which assets to repair, upgrade or replace. It's this third aspect that can improve a utility's relationship with its regulators. Today, utilities use reasons like these to justify their requests for capital upgrades:
- Because we said so
- Because we really, really, really want it
- Trust us, this is the best way to spend the money. You trust us, don't you?
Yes, I'm being facetious, but it's almost that bad sometimes. Yet with capital planning solutions like the one described below, you can show up to the hearings with scientific validation - with calculations that show just which equipment is most critical to reliable and cost-efficient operation.
Regulators love that kind of precision. You'll love it too, because for the first time you will truly know which equipment is most crucial. The example below is from one young company. You can find similar offerings from several other vendors large and small. - Jesse Berst
Clevest AIP solution improves capital planning and regulatory filing processes for utility and municipal industries
Clevest Solutions Inc., a leading provider of software solutions exclusively for the utility and municipal industries, announced new capabilities for supporting capital planning processes and regulatory rate filing procedures with the latest version of its enterprise-class asset investment planning (AIP) solution. Clevest AIP helps utilities and municipalities produce optimized capital plans that are aligned to corporate goals. These capital plans are driven by real-time asset information and can quickly respond to changing circumstances.
Peter Millar, VP Product Marketing, Clevest, emphasized, "The new release allows organizations to conduct more rigorous investment planning analysis, develop more flexible capex and opex planning cycles and perform more sophisticated asset portfolio optimization. These enhancements support asset investment decision-making that is even more tightly aligned with the requirements of corporate stakeholders and regulatory bodies.”