Tieto helps energy distributor cut operational cost by up to 15 %
New pressures from new regulation
The 2013 Electricity Market Act lays down strict rules about delivery reliability, giving distribution companies a 15-year transition period to achieve maximum interruption limits of 6 hours in densely populated areas and 36 hours in rural areas.
This caused an imminent need to develop the network to comply with the new regulations. A study commissioned by the company showed that nearly two-thirds of the network must be enhanced for better resistance to storms and snow, resulting in a nearly 50-per cent increase in annual network investment. Furthermore, network unit costs have increased manyfold over the years.
Digitalizing for up-to-date overall status information
In addition to operational challenges, the new situation therefore brought about significant financial challenges. Together, these challenges led to the necessity to digitalize as much of the network operations as possible.
It is a tall order for any company to plan, time and synchronize investment, maintenance, construction and logistics for the optimal total outcome, let alone for a distribution company that is exposed to unexpected disturbances due to weather conditions and penalties for service interruptions.
As PKSS was already using a network planning and documentation solution by Tieto, after serious deliberation the decision was made to carry out the modernization with Tieto.
“In network management, it is not enough to part-optimize. Having a comprehensive picture, including operation, maintenance and investments, is the most important thing”, says Jukka Ahonen, Network Development Manager, PKSS.
Driving down operational cost
The new Tieto-delivered process and tools have effectivized operational planning. As external service providers, such as network contractors, can be connected to the same system, the new solution provides an end-to-end operations chain. The solution helps follow and analyse bottlenecks and problems while enabling focus on the most important issues and changes that need to be implemented first.
When digitalization has made it possible to update documentation on the spot in real time, error-prone manual processes can be avoided. As an example, network maps no longer need to be redrawn, instead, they are updated in the field, providing an immediate single source of truth for all parties involved. Data in the system is correct and always up to date, significantly shortening the time needed for project reporting and analysis.
PKSS estimates that Tieto’s solution will in the long run enable the company to cut its operational costs by up to 15 per cent.
End-to-end solution benefits all parties
“The comprehensiveness of the system is the primary benefit for us”, says Mr Ahonen. “One system can handle everything, including customer service, which allows us to stay up to date about the entire status of the network from many angles. Tools are included for all jobs that a distribution network operator needs to accomplish, and when the operational chain reaches even contractors, day-to-day planning is much more effective than having even a small number of manual steps in the process.”
Digitalizing the system also helps PKSS to keep on schedule with its network renewal target, thereby assisting in investment planning and timing investments with operational and maintenance schedules.