Report Details Use of Geospatial Tech

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has published the 2006 Geospatial Technology Report. The eighth in a series from GITA, the 149-page report contains detailed information on the complexity, direction, and completeness of geographic information system (GIS) projects being implemented at 386 organizations-a 31 percent increase in participation from the 2005 edition.

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The 2006 Geospatial Technology Report addresses GIS projects in six markets: electric, gas, water, pipeline, and telecommunication utilities, as well as the public sector. Information in each industry section focuses on land base accuracy, sophistication, maintenance cycles, application usage, and interfaces, as well as the top 10 applications and technologies. The report contains more than 300 tables and charts.

The report also includes charts illustrating the manner in which various technology trends are developing, with six years of archived data. In addition, information regarding budgets, data-sharing capabilities, and the top three geospatial issues faced by each market are addressed for the first time in this latest edition.

Copies of the report may be ordered online at GITA’s website,, or by contacting GITA headquarters at 303-337-0513 or For information on participating in the surveys for the 2007 report, contact Kathryn Henton at 303-337-0513 or

Eye on Europe:

“- Italian utility Enel has jumped into the scuffle over Spanish powerhouse Endesa. For months, it looked like Endesa was slated for an E.On takeover. The German company had bid over 41 billion euros for Endesa-only awaiting a shareholder vote to move forward on the offer. But, with a recent 4.13 billion euro investment in Endesa (about a 10 percent share) and a second swap with UBS that netted them another 7 percent-apparently, they are shooting for about a 25 percent stake in the game-suddenly Enel has a shot at blocking what has been advertised as the biggest European energy acquisition in years.

“- The European Research Council has been given the green light (and a budget of in the billions of euros) to focus on scientific endeavors and breakthroughs. Known at the Seventh Framework Programme, or FP7, the collaborative research will focus on specific areas of noted importance, including health, transport and energy. This phase of the program will run through 2013.

“- Delegates and exhibitors continue to sign up for the first PowerGrid Europe conference in Madrid, Spain, June 26-28. More information can be found online at

Word on the Street

At DistribuTECH 2007, UAE partnered with the Smart Energy Alliance to survey attendees about their views on the industry. Here’s what we found out.

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What effect will NERC’s new authority as the Electric Reliability Organization for the U.S. have on your job?

80%My job won’t change due to NERC’s new authority.
20%There’s much more pressure from above to maintain system reliability.
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How do you see the future of T&D for the next five years?

50%Rosy. It’s getting much more attention than it did traditionally.
30%About the same as always. Generation gets all the attention.
20%Desperate. The grid is deteriorating faster than it can be upgraded.

PPL Using Telemetric Modules

PPL Electric Utilities has deployed a system for monitoring and control of distribution reclosers based on Telemetric’s intelligent wireless remote telemetry modules (RTMs) and supporting software applications. This allows PPL Electric Utilities operations personnel to receive near real-time status information from mid-point and tie-point reclosers installed on distribution feeders.

In addition, Telemetric worked with PPL Electric Utilities operating center personnel to provide integration of the recloser status/control functions into PPL Electric Utilities’ operations center (SCADA).

PPL Electric Utilities has utilized electronic controlled reclosers for several years to improve system reliability and minimize customer interruptions. Line and tie-point recloser installations have grown steadily at PPL Electric Utilities. The company has deployed Cooper Form 4C and the newer Cooper Form 6 recloser controls. Some of the Cooper Form 4C controls had analog wireless modems, which were becoming obsolete and expensive to maintain. PPL Electric Utilities sought a two-way communications solution that would be reliable, cost effective and work throughout their service territory. PPL Electric Utilities investigated several options before selecting a solution from Telemetric Corporation. PPL Electric Utilities deployed Telemetric Remote Telemetry Modules (RTMs) on Cooper Form 4C and Form 6 recloser controls installed at mid- and tie-points along distribution feeders.

PPL Electric Utilities’ engineering and operations personnel use Telemetric’s suite of web-based applications to set up and manage the RTM devices. Engineers and operations personnel use the Telemetric applications to view both current and historical recloser operations data, as well as set up automated alarm condition reports that are sent via e-mail, pager or text message. With automated reporting of recloser operations or alarm conditions, PPL Electric Utilities’ personnel get near real-time information on distribution feeder problems and can quickly operate the reclosers, or dispatch crews to needed locations.

Word on the Street

At DistribuTECH 2007, UAE partnered with the Smart Energy Alliance to survey attendees about their views on the industry. Here’s what we found out.

Where do you think your utility company will be spending the most money in the next five years?

36% metering/advanced metering
32% distribution systems
28% transmission projects, both new and upgrades
4% base-load generation

Of the following, which technology is your company presently investing in the most?

40% automatic meter reading/advanced metering
20% distribution automation
16% transmission automation
12% geographic information systems
8% substation automation
4% field force automation

Of the following, which technology do you believe would be the most important for your company to invest in?

32% automatic meter reading/advanced metering
28% distribution automation
12% geographic information systems
8% transmission automation
8% substation automation
4% field force automation
4% demand response

Arizona Electrical District Number Three Selects ACS

Advanced Control Systems (ACS), a global provider of smart grid solutions to the electric power industry, has contracted with Arizona’s Electrical Power District No. 3 of Pinal County (ED3) for the deployment of an ACS distribution management and automation system.

With project engineering and implementation support from ACS, ED3 is deploying an ACS PRISM system composed of dual redundant Linux servers and Linux-based operator terminals. ED3 will also deploy ACS Connex 60 substation managers as part of the integrated system solution.

“We selected ACS because of its smart grid vision for distribution applications and automation, its history of customer success and for its cost-effective approach that integrates our current and ongoing infrastructure investments,” said Joseph Herrera, director of engineering and operations for ED3.

Created in 1926 and headquartered in Maricopa, Arizona, Electrical District No. 3 of Pinal County supports a rapidly growing area of 133,000 acres 20 miles south of Phoenix.

Between 2000 and 2006 the district’s customer base grew from 500 irrigation and residential, customers to more than 16,000 new residential and it continues to add more than 300 new customers per month. ED3 operates nine substations that feed a growing 12.47-kV distribution system composed of overhead lines and underground service connections.

Itron to Acquire Actaris Metering for Approx. $1.6b

  • Acquisition of Luxembourg-based Actaris will create an international company with more than 8,000 utility customers, expand Itron’s product offerings, and increase Itron’s access to global markets for electricity, gas and water meters and automated meter reading (AMR) technology.
  • Combined company revenues and EBITDA in 2006 would have exceeded $1.6 billion and $274 million on a pro forma basis, respectively.
  • Acquisition expected to be 20 to 30 cents accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share in 2007.
  • Acquisition is fully financed and committed to by cash on hand, credit facilities provided by UBS and a $235 million private placement of equity, completed February 25, 2007.
  • The purchase price is à¢â€š¬800 million plus the retirement of approximately à¢â€š¬445 million of debt, which, at an exchange rate of 1.30, totals approximately $1.6 billion. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.

SecureWorks, NRECA Offer Discounted Services

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and SecureWorks have partnered to offer SecureWorks’ information security services to NRECA’s members at a discounted rate. This agreement gives NRECA members access to all of SecureWorks’ managed security services at a 10 percent discount.

SecureWorks is one of 60 organizations in NRECA’s National Discount Program designed to provide pre-negotiated discounts with leading service providers.

“We understand the cyber security risks that are threatening utilities, both large and small,” said Stephen R. Guth, Esq., executive director, vendor management office, NRECA. “We knew something needed to be done to help our members protect themselves against the very real cyber threats. We are pleased to partner with SecureWorks, and we have confidence in their expertise and the services they provide.”

NRECA members can receive a 10 percent discount on all of SecureWorks’ managed security services including management and monitoring of firewalls, network and host intrusion prevention, vulnerability scanning, encrypted e-mail and threat intelligence.

Bushings Weather the Storm

The northeastern ice storm of 1998 was catastrophic, damaging hundreds of kilometers of high-voltage transmission lines and towers. The storm hit parts of eastern Ontario, southern Quebec and Nova Scotia in Canada, and areas of northern New York all the way to southeast Maine in the United States. Millions were left in the dark for periods varying from days to weeks, leading to more than 30 fatalities. This was one of the worst ice storms in recorded history, and it cost big utilities such as Hydro-Quàƒ©bec millions of dollars in repairs.

As a preventive measure to what happened in January 1998, a de-icer project was launched. Hydro-Quàƒ©bec desired a system that would adapt to existing systems and transmission lines and perform the de-icing when required. Engineers designed the system such that it switches from static var compensator (SVC) mode to high-voltage direct current (HVDC) based de-icing mode in less than an hour where direct current runs through the lines. The SVC functions as a reactive power compensator to support the local network when not de-icing. Once the ice has melted, the transmission lines are reconnected to the grid.

Currently, the project has reached its implementation stage and once completed, will cover about 750kms of transmission lines in the province of Quàƒ©bec. On the long list of participants in this project are a leading international engineering firm, one of the largest utilities in Canada and one of the world’s largest T&D companies. Electro Composites Inc. is also the participating company who supplied all the wall bushings for the project. Since the project had to meet high environmental standards, the obvious choice for bushings was epoxy based solid cast bushings that Electro has been making for the past 10 years. These units include both AC (72.5kV, 4000A) and DC (325kV BIL, 2000A) bushings.

Why did the de-icer project opt for solid cast insulation bushings as opposed to traditional OIP (oil impregnated paper) porcelain bushings? First, they are oil-free making them ideal for the horizontal applications required of them as wall bushings. No oil also makes transport, maintenance and handling easier. The time needed for stabilization prior to installation (usually 24 to 48 hours) is completely eliminated.

Second, the epoxy bushings are lighter in weight and have a shorter production time with little material wastage. Their advanced construction allows extended design possibilities. Solid cast insulation bushings are not a health hazard and are safer than OIPs as they are made from fire-retardant material and contain no polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Third, solid cast epoxy bushings are part of the new wave of clean-tech products on the market and are environmentally friendly.
Prateek Sharma, Electro Composites


  • The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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