Two major Norwegian electric distribution companies choose common network information system

Fort Collins, Colo. –Viken Energinett, the largest supplier of electric power and district heating in Norway, and Ostnett have chosen their future network information system (NIS).

After an extensive evaluation, the two companies selected the geographic NIS from Geodata AS, the Norwegian ESRI distributor. The system delivered by Geodata includes a number of applications from advanced planning tools to simple insight solutions.

The solution is built on ESRI’s ArcGIS platform and includes ArcFM and Designer from Miner & Miner, NG SPATIAL schematics from Netgraph, and Geodata’s own applications for the Norwegian utility market. The system constitutes a complete NIS for the utilities’ electric network as well as their district heating network.

“The critical part of the information picture for energy plants is updated. Quality saved information about the network is seen from an electrical and geographical point of view,” said Viken’s project manager Age Heir.

Viken and Ostnett conducted an extensive evaluation of different software from several suppliers. They executed test projects for data conversion and had an external evaluation of the different offers. They decided that geographic NIS, delivered by Geodata AS in Oslo, Norway, best met their needs.

“We chose Geodata’s solution because it is built on a modern architecture with an open data model. It also fulfills our functional needs,” said Age Heir.

Geographic NIS was initially developed in collaboration with the utilities of Lyse Energi, Bergenhalvoens Kommunale Kraftselskap AS, and Energiselskapet Asker og Baerum.

The contract is significant since the solution will be executed in connection with energy delivery to nearly 800,000 customers in Oslo and several other major cities in Norway. The contract is worth more than $2.2 million and includes software, training, data conversion, and integration with other data systems.

“This contract confirms there is a trend toward open systems based on industry standards, and that GIS is the best platform to make an effective NIS. The contract also proves that the largest energy plants in Norway support GIS and NIS as strategic tools that will provide vital meaning for the development of the whole operation,” stated Olbjorn Kvernberg, managing director of Geodata.

As a result of buyouts and mergers, the energy companies often found themselves faced with having different data systems for the same tasks and working processes. They felt it was essential to collect all the relevant data into one common system.

In this new generation of NIS, all the information regarding customers, both the geographic location and the electric connection, accumulates into one database. The system is also capable of integrating with other information technology systems such as customer information systems and administrative systems.

Throughout Norway, the distribution of electric power is part of an electricity supply that is still regulated. Norwegian Watercourse, an energy directorate Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat, requires a high standard of cost efficiency and quality in organizing and running the distribution networks.

This is partly measured by the data on outage statistics that the utilities are required to submit. “If we are going to survive in today’s market, we need to invest in these sort of systems. Now, we can also utilize our data in a far better way,” stated Age Heir.

Viken Energinett, which owns 74 percent of Ostnett (an agreement of 100 percent ownership is pending), has also made an agreement with Hafslund ASA to merge.

The new company, Ostnett included, will then grow to approximately 550,000 network customers and will be the largest distributor of electric power in Norway.

Geodata AS is known as the supplier of GIS in Norway. Geodata AS has more than 50 employees and a turnover of more than 51 million NOK. Geodata AS represents ESRI, Miner & Miner, and Netgraph in Norway. For more information, please visit www.geodata.no.

About Miner & Miner Miner & Miner (M&M) is a developer of GIS software for utilities. M&M products and services assist electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities in increasing productivity, lowering costs, and improving services by allowing them to effectively manage spatial information.

Founded in 1946 as a full-service electrical engineering firm, M&M has been a business partner of ESRI since 1987. This partnership has enabled M&M to become the world’s developer of ArcGIS applications for the utility industry. M&M services include implementation and customization of software to fit the needs of individual utilities. For more information, please visit www.miner.com.

About ESRI For more than thirty years, ESRI has been a developer of geographic information system (GIS) software with more than 300,000 clients worldwide. ESRI also provides consulting, implementation, and technical support services.

In addition to its headquarters in California, ESRI has regional offices throughout the United States, international distributors in more than 90 countries, and more than 1,200 business partners.

ESRI’s goal is to provide users with comprehensive tools to help them quickly and efficiently manage and use geographic information to make a real difference in the world around them. ESRI can be found on the Web at www.esri.com.

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