Municipal utilities: Get ready for the integration/interoperability phase

Wed, 2016-03-16 06:00 -- SCC Staff

At the Council, we preach integration and interoperability for all things smart city... including the smart grid. That's why I think utilities large and small should take note of the release below. GE Grid Solutions — the joint venture between GE and Alstom — has launched what they call an "Integrated Distribution Operating Platform." It's basically the combination of several previously separate applications into an interoperable suite.

Although GE Grid Solutions created this solution in partnership with one of America's largest utilities, you can be sure that this same approach will soon be available to smaller utilities as well. I think this theme — integration and interoperability — is something cities and utilities should stress to all their suppliers, smart grid and beyond. — Jesse Berst

ORLANDO – March 1, 2016 – GE (NYSE: GE) and American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., successfully launched their Integrated Distribution Operating Platform (IDOP), a software integration of GE’s Asset Management and Asset Control Systems. The IDOP is a joint program between GE and AEP that integrates their key business areas of operations, maintenance and construction. A significant step toward smart grid interoperability, the IDOP program connects GE’s primary utility software solution offerings – Geospatial Information System (GIS), Outage Management System (OMS) and Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) – to bring enhanced stability, security and efficiencies to AEP’s operations.

Historically, the functionality delivered by IDOP has been provided by multiple vendors, requiring utility operators to manage multiple applications from multiple workstations. The IDOP platform will eliminate this complexity by deploying three integrated software products that AEP can control from a single work station – lowering costs, reducing maintenance and optimizing productivity. It is also able to provide real-time network information to standardize data presentation and visualization, simplified alarm management, streamlined workflow and knowledge sharing. Deployment of the three applications throughout AEP will be completed in May 2016.  IDOP is the first deployment of PowerOn Advantage, GE’s ADMS, in the U.S. In addition to this, integration enhancements for PowerOn Advantage and Smallworld Electric Office, GE’s GIS, are scheduled for completion by the end of 2016

“The IDOP applications are critical to distribution operations as they impact the key areas of asset management, distribution SCADA management and outage restoration,” said Tom Kirkpatrick, Vice President customer services, marketing and distribution services for AEP. “These applications are also the foundation of managing the grid of the future – a grid that will be smarter, more resilient and able to adapt to needs of a rapidly changing distribution system incorporating distributed generation and storage devices throughout the grid. Our customers will benefit from the improved efficiency of operation, more effective outage restoration and improved customer communications”

“Flexible, resilient and smart grids are the future of the power industry,” said Karim El Naggar, Software Solutions General Manager, GE Grid Solutions and Chief Digital Officer, GE Energy Connections. “Real-time data exchanges and integrated solutions such as IDOP will play a pivotal role, allowing utilities to continue to keep the lights on in an increasingly volatile environment. GE is proud to partner with AEP to help the industry restore power faster, reduce costs, better manage assets, and improve safety, security and reliability across distribution grids.”

 GE and AEP share a strong history in the area of transmission and distribution solutions, specifically software solutions. In 2008, AEP formed an alliance with GE to support its gridSMART initiatives around Electric Grid Efficiency and Grid Reliability improvements. Since then, GE has continued to deliver value-added software solutions to AEP.

About GE’s Grid Solutions
Grid Solutions, a GE and Alstom joint venture, equips 90% of power utilities worldwide to bring power from the point of generation to end power consumers. With over 200 years combined experience in providing advanced energy solutions, our products and services enable more resilient, efficient and reliable power systems. For more information, visit

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