Norway's largest grid company testing new NIS technology with Powel
Elvia plans to move into the grid system of the future, starting from two different IT systems. To assist them on the journey they newly signed a contract with Powel.
From 1 January 2020, Eidsiva Nett and Hafslund Nett merged to form the new grid company Elvia. Almost two million people in the counties of Innlandet, Viken and Oslo will have their electricity supplied by the new grid company, which is the largest in Norway. While Eidsiva uses Powel NETBAS, Hafslund uses GeoNIS. Powel will be an important partner in their transformation and adoption of new technology.
“Together with Powel, we have run a successful trial migration of selected data from Hafslund’s GeoNIS to ArcGIS Utility Network, based on the Utility Network Community (UNC) data model. Now we plan to carry out a similar migration of data from Eidsiva’s NETBAS, to get the whole Elvia network onto the same NIS/GIS platform,” says the project manager at Elvia, Vegard Høynes.
Value creation across the organisation with better data quality and innovative tools
The problem with the tools currently used by the grid companies is that they are complex, desktop-based applications that only a few key personnel can operate. The advantage of the latest solutions is that they offer simpler user interfaces and field applications. This gives far more people in the organisation access to important and detailed grid information and allowing them to maintain data quality.
“It will be easier for people to find the information they need to do a good job, and it will be easier to document the work done. It is incredibly exciting to be designing future work processes and software for Elvia,” says Jens Dalsgaard, Principal Business Process Consultant at Powel.
A Utility Network is designed to model all the components of the grid - such as cables, overhead lines, poles, switches, transformers, service lines etc. - the real world must be reflected in the world you have modelled. This is often called a digital twin. Powel is working especially on domain-specific solutions for the work processes in grid companies and using appropriate and up-to-date technology to solve business problems and create value.
Successful conversion with Powel
“Using GIS for grid documentation you cannot miss out on the ArcGIS Utility Network delivered by Esri. Many projects around the world test conversion from Esri geometric network-based models to ArcGIS Utility Network,” says Svein Arne Rakstang, head of GIS at Elvia.
He explains that Elvia north (formerly Eidsiva Nett) uses NETBAS as its master system for grid documentation.
“A conversion within the Esri family should be easier than converting from a system with a history independent of Esri. So, it was important for us to find out how hard it would be to convert from Powel NETBAS to ArcGIS Utility Network, and how we needed to prepare. In a project with Powel, we succeeded in the first important steps converting one feeder to the grid,” says Rakstang.
New contract signed with Powel
The positive results from the two projects have now prompted Elvia to sign a contract with Powel for three more follow-up projects, with the aim of modernising the company. Part 1 is concerned with migrating from NETBAS to ArcGIS Utility Network. This to demonstrate to the organisation that both source systems can be migrated to Utility Network. Part 2 aims to increase the complexity of the data migration, while Part 3 involves a full-scale transfer from both sources to the same grid database for further interaction.
“Another important part of this work is to look at how we should be using the platform with future work processes. We know that technology allows us to work in new and more efficient ways. We want to make a success of this together with Powel,” says Vegard Høynes.
Powel is undergoing a digital transformation and seeking to leverage new technology to establish flexibility in our offering to the market.
“Automation, self-service and mobility are important aspects of designing the work processes of the future. We find it very exciting to work with ambitious customers like Elvia. Together we are exploring and realising the potential of new technologies like Utility Network,” says Richard Schytte.