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A Changing Map: Four Decades of Service Restoration at Alabama Power

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1 Author(s)
G. Larry Clark ; Alabama Power Co., Birmingham, AL, USA

Restoring service to customers has always been a top priority at the Alabama Power Company during my 45 years there. Although the task is the same, the methods and technologies that can be brought to bear on it have changed and improved dramatically. Technology has helped the company improve its response to system disturbances. Automation technology deployed in the distribution control room, in distribution substations, and at discrete sites along the distribution feeder provides system intelligence regarding the state and condition of the electric distribution system. Automation technology also facilitates the presentation of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) telemetry to the distribution operator. Meanwhile, advances in desktop computing workstations permit the geographical display of distribution circuits in a wide-area view, which improves the visibility of the distribution system for the operator. The big-picture or wide-area view that was once displayed on the paper map board is now presented in the control room on its desktop workstations. Today, application integration is providing the next round of technology improvement in the distribution control room. Advanced applications within an integrated platform are providing techniques to improve the efficiency and reliability of the distribution system. Together, these advanced applications improve service restoration. This article describes the past, present, and future of service restoration technology at Alabama Power.

Published in:

IEEE Power and Energy Magazine  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 1 )