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FortisAlberta unveils new control centre in Airdrie

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 11:03 am

Jon Zawada, manager inside FortisAlberta’s brand new control centre, at one of 16 consoles that monitor the company’s Smart Grid.
Jon Zawada, manager inside FortisAlberta’s brand new control centre, at one of 16 consoles that monitor the company’s Smart Grid.
MATT DURNAN/Rocky View Publishing

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FortisAlberta unveiled its new control centre located inside their Airdrie office at 15 Kingsview Rd. on June 10.

The FortisAlberta Control Centre (FCC) is a project that was more than two years in the making, which kicked off in January 2012 and officially went live on June 2, 2014.

The distribution control centre is a real-time monitoring system that uses the company’s Outage Management System (OMS) that was implemented in October 2013 which provides visibility of each device, structure and customer on FortisAlberta’s distribution system.

For FortisAlberta customers, a new monitoring system can closely locate where, when and even how power outages have occurred in order to more efficiently respond to and rectify the issue.

“With the FCC system, we can command, control, and monitor all of our devices around Alberta,” said Jon Zawada, Control Centre manager. “The OMS allows us to pinpoint the location and cause of power outages and how many customers are being affected.”

According to FortisAlberta Vice President of Customer Service Mike Pashak, the system streamlines efficiency by improving the way operational data is managed and viewed across the entire enterprise, it also adds a new element to customer service.

“If a customer has a power outage, they can call us (310-WIRE) and the outage is put into the system and we are able to identify where the outage originated and how many customers are affected, as well as provide an estimated time that their power will be restored,” said Pashak.

Inside the FCC are 16 different consoles, all monitoring FortisAlberta’s grid. There are as many as eight employees working in the control centre for 12 hours at a time, day and night.

Pashak said the control centre is a big jumping off point and there are dozens of routes that the company can now explore to improve customer service levels, including websites and mobile phone apps.

“We could potentially use this system and tie it into an app for your phone that you could subscribe to, and it could send you a notification of a power outage in your area,” said Pashak.

“Say you’re not at home, we could potentially notify someone of a power outage in their home before they even know it’s happened.”

mdurnan@airdrie.greatwest.ca


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