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Plan ahead for substation automation

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4 Author(s)

Technological improvements to intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and the communication facilities and protocols that enable their integration are occurring at a rapid pace. To ensure that ongoing internal efforts to integrate the IEDs has proper direction given industry developments, MidAmerican Energy Company developed a substation automation (SA) plan and is in the process of implementing it at two pilot substations. Before proceeding with system implementation activities, MidAmerican elected to develop a business case to ensure that the operational and strategic benefits that would be achieved and the costs to achieve these benefits were well understood ahead of time. Lack of a solid business case has always been one of the leading obstacles to the successful implementation of electric utility automation projects. Building a business case for the automation project will ensure that the costs and the benefits, both monetary and strategic, are well understood ahead of time and are supportive of company business drivers. This article describes the methodology used to develop the business case for expanding the implementation of SA technologies at MidAmerican's substations and summarizes the results of this analysis.

Published in:

Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 2 )