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Outage Management System Overview


The Expected changes to the CAISO (California Independent System Operator Corporation) wholesale power market, as well as the necessary integration of new renewable resources (Ex: solar energy, wind, hydroelectric energy, biomass), requires an utility company to make investment in a centralized application (e.g. analytical evaluation tool) to improve information transparency for outage decision-making. The scheduling and management of outages impact customer costs and budget expenditure, and may impact reliability. The Outage Management System (OMS) initiative will provide Energy Supply (ES) management, business planners, and plant operators with a centralized system for strategically viewing outage information across the company’s generation portfolio. It will also improve upfront planning and real-time decision-making by integrating both market and internal data points.

Among other ways, the Outage Management System initiative will increase value to customers and shareholders through the optimization of outage planning and outage management decision-making across the Energy Supply (ES) Portfolio. An Outage Management System, specifically, an Outage Valuation Tool, will take certain inputs; will process the inputs to make a structure, understandable by Model, and pass the input to Model. The Model will run, as per pre-defined algorithm, based on the input, and will come up with the result, and pass it to Outage Management System. Then, OMS will integrate reliability, cost, and market price signals to provide decision-makers with a framework that adequately captures market complexities and tradeoffs. This will result in better informed decision-making regarding outage planning, timing and duration. This improved transparency and integration of information is expected to lead to:

  • - Lower customer costs
  • - More efficient utilization of budget
  • - Higher system reliability
  • - Prudent and cost effective outage management across the portfolio, which will strengthen the utility company’s demonstration of compliance with least cost dispatch requirements.

While the initiative requires the development of metrics, governance procedures and improved coordination processes, the supporting foundation is a set of analytical tools that require IT solutions.

Analytical Tool: Today, there are varieties of different technology platforms [ex: Rome Lab Outage MANager (ROMAN)], though which, outage planning and outage management activities are performed. The very basic tool used is Excel spreadsheets. There is a lack of transparency around outage planning and management across the Energy Supply portfolio and a lack of easily accessible market data to guide decision-making. As such, it is currently challenging to accurately assess the value of generating unit availability, output and performance.

The Outage Management System and its associated analytical solution will integrate market values (e.g. energy, Ancillary Services, Resource Adequacy) with reliability and cost considerations.  The tool will be used to determine the most cost effective outage schedule changes, generate optimized outage schedules for forward years and perform post outage analyses.  The Outage Management System will source data from a number of Utility enterprise systems and possibly, third party databases. Examples of potential sources include:

  • - Outage and market data from the ODMS (Outage Data Management System)
  • - Outage Schedules from SLIC (soon to be OMS)
  • - ISO settlements databases, e.g. EnSuite
  • - Cost and budget information as well as outage requirements (maintenance and project) from SAP
  • - 3rd party databases and analytical tools, e.g. P6 Scheduling Tool and others

Metrics Management: The Outage Management System and its associated analytical solution will also identify and implement key metrics that gauge the successful rollout of end-state Outage Management Program across the ES portfolio.

Key Objectives:

  • - Identify and propose applications of industry best practices to generation outage scheduling process;
  • - Develop a framework and analytical tool to perform market-based analyses of planned outage schedules and unplanned outage changes.
  • - Enhance existing outage scheduling processes, and formalize management decision-making in support of portfolio-wide outage planning, scheduling and management.
  • - Provide a portfolio view of outages;
  • - Provide a standardized outage scheduling process for determining outage costs, identify decision points.


Other benefits:

  • - Limitations of spreadsheet-based tool (“Outage Valuation Tool (OVT)”) used across utility organizations - ex: it models only a subset of generation facilities [ex: fossil-fueled generation [UOG (Utility Owned Generation) and Non-UOG]; it cannot be used to model market costs of hydro resources;
  • - Integrating the use of the OVT into outage management processes requires enhancement of the existing outage scheduling processes and formalization of management decision-making in support of portfolio-wide outage planning and management.
  • - The scope of Outage Management System gets expanded to include both long-term outage scheduling and post outage analyses capabilities.
  • - In addition to lowering customer costs, the implementation of Outage Management System supporting metrics, procedures and systems will allow the utility company to be more proactive in demonstrating prudent and cost effective outage management across its generation portfolio, in compliance with Least Cost Dispatch (LCD) requirements [utility companies have to use the most cost-effective combination of resources, thereby minimizing the cost of delivering electric services]. This, in turn, will mitigate cost-recovery risks to the company.





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Debsankar Pramanik's picture

Thank Debsankar for the Post!

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