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Alstoms Outage Management System Live at Alabama Power

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Alstom has delivered a new Outage Management System (OMS) and Distribution Management System (DMS) upgrade to Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, completing delivery of Alstoms full Integrated Distribution Management System (IDMS). The Distribution SCADA and DMS modules of the IDMS delivered previously have been efficiently directing the flow of electricity to Alabama Powers 1.4 million customers. The addition of the OMS ensures more efficient and faster decision making especially during large scale outage restoration efforts, ultimately improving service to Alabama Powers customers.

In preparation for system acceptance, the new OMS was tested using Alstoms integrated Distribution Operations Training Simulator (DOTS). Performance and scalability testing were simulated using DOTS generated inputs from SCADA, AMI, customer calls and based on some of the largest storms that may impact the Alabama Powers service territory - with more than one million customers out, over 160 concurrent users of IDMS, 60 percent AMI outage response, loss of the entire SCADA communications infrastructure, and approximately 2000 distribution circuits with active outages. Built for high availability and performance during major events, as well as routine maintenance outages, Alstoms OMS is designed to handle over 200,000 trouble calls per hour.

DOTS has been one of the most valuable aspects of cutting over to the new system because it allows us not only to test the system but also provides an initial and on-going training environment for our personnel that replicates real world scenarios.  We do not need to experience the next major hurricane to find out if our systems will perform and the DOTS will ensure the system will perform in any magnitude storm that may impact our service territory and customers. said Bill Mintz, Manager of Distribution Management Systems at Alabama Power who has been leading the project from its inception.

The new OMS, which is based on Alstom Grids e-terradistribution platform, provides Alabama Powers distribution grid operators more accurate information and enhanced overall visibility to better manage unscheduled and planned network outages. Based on a Service Oriented Architecture, the new OMS includes web service APIs for seamless integration with Alabama Powers enterprise systems, through the Enterprise Service Bus to the Geographic Information System, Customer Information System, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Mobile Workforce Management, and Automatic Vehicle Location.

The new OMS also captures and integrates all available data to automatically calculate performance indices, like System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI), ensuring accuracy and confidence in overall outage reporting metrics. 

Alabama Power chose our advanced IDMS to replace its legacy, disparate systems and they provided inspiration for our latest technology. Our OMS is part of the same comprehensive data model and uses the same user interface as our integrated DMS and SCADA systems which are streamlining operations for our customers like Southern Company and allowing them to be more efficient for their customers, said Karim El Naggar, Vice President of Alstom Grids Network Management Solutions business.