Dairyland Power Cooperative has been providing reliable electricity for more than 58 years in a service area that encompasses 62 counties in five states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan). In late 2000, the generation and transmission cooperative, which provides the wholesale electrical requirements and other services for 25 electric distribution cooperatives and 18 municipal utilities, decided it was time to modernize its energy management system (EMS).
To that end, Dairyland has contracted the Energy Management and Information Systems Division of Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution to supply the cooperative with Siemens Spectrum PowerCC power transmission control system components. The overall strategy calls for establishing a new applications infrastructure featuring key Spectrum PowerCC components without discarding Dairyland’s existing ARTECS II system (an earlier Siemens-supplied, mainframe-based EMS).
Initially, four Spectrum PowerCC components will be integrated into the EMS, including ICCP (inter-control center protocol), a CIM-compliant engineering system, a commercial RDBMS-based historical information system (HIS) and energy accounting (EA). The engineering system, PowerCC’s data definition and maintenance tool, will be used to define all ICCP, HIS and EA data. The ICCP link provides the mechanism to transfer data from the ARTECS II EMS to the HIS and EA components.
For Dairyland, the result of all this will be easier sharing of HIS information across the enterprise, better integration between existing EMS-related applications, and lowered administrative and software maintenance costs. For the cooperatives and municipal utilities that Dairyland supports, and for the individual customers of those co-ops and munis, the solution will no doubt mean many more years of reliable electric service.
DOE, NRECA Research to Benefit Cooperatives
In late November 2000, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to work together on joint research efforts in the areas of distributed generation, grid reliability and environmental protection technologies. NRECA’s research arm, the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), will manage new research efforts with the DOE.
The DOE is a regular supporter of CRN-sponsored research, most notably in the area of distributed generation. The CRN and DOE have collaborated on numerous projects in recent years, including microturbine evaluations, transportable fuel cell demonstrations and wind turbine testing. On the immediate horizon, is a CRN/DOE contract to study the performance of residential fuel cells from major manufacturers. Those manufacturers believe that rural America will be the initial market for this technology.
Glenn English, NRECA chief executive officer, praised the DOE’s commitment to research that ultimately will assist consumer-owned electric cooperatives nationwide. “The electric co-op market is a natural testing ground, one that demands reliability under grueling conditions in some of the most remote regions of the country,” English said. “The entire nation can benefit from what we learn together.”
While the agreement between the NRECA and the DOE lists areas of mutual research interest and spells out how the two parties will collaborate on projects, funding for specific projects was not outlined. The two organizations will develop what is known as a technology road map, a multi-year plan that will outline research priorities.