This use case describes several scenarios in which the operator of the distribution network uses SmartConnect data to make decisions about how to reconfigure the network. These are not long-term planning scenarios, but situations affecting reliability that require immediate decision-making to prevent various types of outages. This use case also covers the use of additional SmartConnect provided information in the planned outage preparation process. The primary benefits of involving the SmartConnect system in these scenarios are:
• The SmartConnect system can provide a detailed load history to the Outage Management System (OMS), Energy Management System (EMS) or Distribution Management System (DMS) to automatically calculate loading estimates to help improve the reliability of load predictions that depend considerably on the experience of the operator.
• The SmartConnect system can provide more accurate and geographically pinpointed load information than presently available through SCADA systems that at best only provide details at the distribution circuit level. With better data, operators can make load affecting decisions more quickly. This ability is also supports load switching to reduce the number of affected customers in planned outages.
• The SmartConnect system can provide distribution operators with demand response (DR) as an option for reducing load when reconfiguration of the network is no longer an option. Using voluntary DR in this way can reduce the need for rotating blackouts or brownouts on a feeder basis.
• The SmartConnect system can provide a network for communicating with distributed energy providers eliminating the need to build additional communications networks and reducing the cost of entry for distributed energy resources (DER). Communication with and control of DER gives distribution operators an additional tool for improving distribution grid reliability.