Otter Tail Power Co. selects Itron for power grid modernization

Otter Tail Power Co., an investor-owned utility that provides electricity to customers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, has signed a contract with Itron to modernize and improve the reliability of its electric grid.

The utility will use Itron Total Outcomes, a complete managed services offering using Itron technology and analytics to deliver needed outcomes. In Otter Tail Power Co.’s case, the utility needs greater awareness of service interruptions across its territory to improve reliability.

Otter Tail Power Co. continuously works to improve grid reliability and wants to be as efficient as possible with its restoration efforts. To help with this, Itron will manage reliability analytics on behalf of the utility, using information from Itron’s OpenWay smart grid solution with cellular communications.

Itron will then notify operators when interruptions occur as well as pinpoint the circuits, phases and number of customers involved. This will empower the utility to proactively improve overall reliability, outage response and customer satisfaction.

Otter Tail Power Co. will also perform historic outage analysis and measure restoration performance. This enables operators to identify poorly performing feeders and prioritize budget allocation for infrastructure improvements and maintenance.

“Otter Tail Power Co. was looking to replace our aging interruption monitoring system with an automated metering infrastructure (AMI)-based offering that provides both historic and real-time outage analytics and voltage monitoring capabilities on a single platform. We found that with Itron, we’ll have the technology and a team of experts to quickly get the system up and running and provide results,” said Rod Jensen, P.E., reliability engineer at Otter Tail Power Co. “With Itron’s help, we will be able to improve reliability while determining where to place resources for vegetation management and infrastructure improvements.”

“Itron Total Outcomes for reliability provides functionality similar to a SCADA implementation, but at a fraction of startup and operational costs. The managed services approach frees up Otter Tail Power Co.’s resources to focus on pressing operational activities rather than implementing and managing IT environments and AMI systems,” said Bruce Douglas, senior vice president and general manager of software and services at Itron. “Itron’s powerful analytics will help Otter Tail Power Co. harness the value of the data generated by Itron’s smart cellular solution so the utility can operate more efficiently and deliver more reliable service to its customers.”

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