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Reinventing Electric Power Value Chain
By Joseph Santamaria, CIO, PSEG
Joseph Santamaria, CIO, PSEG
The energy grid is being transformed into a smarter, cleaner and more distributed network that must satisfy escalating customer and societal expectations. The increased demands range from integrating emerging energy technologies (renewables, storage and demand management) to providing services that allow consumers to manage their energy to electrifying transportation to reduce environmental impacts.
The transformation will fundamentally change the way utilities operate, requiring a reinvention of the electric power value chain.
Large-scale adoption of energy efficiency (EE) technologies, electric vehicles (EVs) and distributed energy resources (DERs) will introduce great variability into the electric grid. Operators will need to rely on dynamic, intelligent digital networks that automate large components of the electric grid and provide levels of visibility beyond what is available today. In addition, and driven by new customer experiences in other sectors (e.g. retail), individuals, businesses and communities will expect personalized and frictionless services that fit their lifestyles and aspirations, while maintaining low-cost services. Tailoring and anticipating customer needs will also require large amount of data analysis, combined with artificial intelligence that can define daily what is the “next best action” for each customer.
"The Smart Customer Roadmap will be deployed in four releases, with the initial phase comprised of service cloud, live chat and marketing cloud"
Managing the increase in operational variability and treating each customer as a “segment of one,” have one thing in common: each relies on massive amounts of data being collected and processed. Deployment of new technologies such as advanced sensors, two-way communication networks, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, and customer engagement solutions deployed on cloud platforms with massive scalability and innovation tracks will be the foundation for what PSEG calls Intelligent Energy Services Platforms (iESPs).
Those platforms will provide real-time data, task automation and predictive insights, resulting in unprecedented efficiencies and reliability. Utilities will not just provide the energy requested safely and reliably, but will also anticipate needs and offer tailored products and advice to all customer groups. The iESPs will also support smart homes with smart appliances, security systems and home energy equipment that will ensure convenience and sustainability. Advancing from smart homes to smart communities, efficiency will be used to improve resiliency, as well.
At PSEG, we have unified all technology deployments to align under our Energy Cloud program. The PSEG Energy Cloud collects near-real-time data from devices such as thermostats, electric vehicle chargers, customer mobile and home adviser interactions, smart meters, and connected grid equipment such as capacitor banks, transformers and inverters. The data is transported via different networks, including an Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) peer-to-peer network, Wi-Fi, cellular and transmission fiber, and routed to a secure API and micro-services architecture, where it can be utilized by the applications and solutions that make up the Energy Cloud. Energy Cloud solutions include an advanced Customer Relationship Management solution that analyzes customer data to develop proactive marketing offers, and to anticipate inquiries and proactively initiate required digital interactions. The data collected in the Energy Cloud is also fed into operational systems such as an Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS), Distributed Energy Management System (DEMS), Geographical Information System (GIS), and Distribution SCADA. Real-time data, task automation and predictive operations will be enabled by distributed intelligent sensors, machine learning platforms and other transformative technologies running on the operational platform.
The Energy Cloud includes a secure public cloud platform that enables PSEG to develop advanced solutions utilizing technology such as machine learning, augmented reality, image recognition or Internet of Things (IoT) and provides an open platform for others to develop products and services.
The PSEG Energy Cloud includes three roadmaps: the Smart Network and iESP Roadmap, the Smart Customer Roadmap and the Smart Operations Roadmap. The Smart Network and iESP Roadmap is being rolled out over five years and includes enhanced customer engagements, voltage-reduction programs, renewable integration, deployment of smart customer tools ranging from street lighting to smart appliances, smart cities, microgrids, and home automation solutions.
The Smart Customer Roadmap will be deployed in four releases, with the initial phase comprised of service cloud, live chat and marketing cloud. The foundation and stabilization release will be comprised of case management, text integration and automations. For the Enhanced Solution release, analytics, data models and documents automation will be deployed. The Enhance and Innovate release will include connected devices, partner community and master data management.
The Smart Operations Roadmap will be deployed over eight years, broken down into three activity sections. This road map is well under way with transmission fiber infrastructure and digital radio system upgrades. In addition, it includes a network monitoring system for communication, high-speed communication network with a wireless infrastructure and Gas GIS Designer, which will eliminate paper sketches and integrate a work design platform. The Advanced Capabilities deployment will include mobile information management systems, CMMS machine learning analytics, workforce mobility and an advanced distribution management system. This roadmap will complete with future enabled capabilities such as drones, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and distribution system operators.
The Energy Cloud provides a number of innovative solutions to increase our customer value proposition while enhancing service reliability and supporting a cleaner energy future.