Western Power’s innovative Digital Substation pilot has won the national Digital Utility of the Year – Energy Award.
The award, announced via virtual ceremony last night at the Digital Utilities 2020 Conference, is awarded to an energy utility that showcases the best use and implementation of digital technologies, tools and processes across their organisation.
Western Power CEO Ed Kalajzic said the business was honoured to receive the award as it highlighted the significant strides it was making in transforming WA’s South West Interconnect Network to meet and plan for the Western Australian community’s energy needs now and in the future.
“We’ve embarked on an innovation drive to integrate renewables and use and develop digital technology to evolve the grid including several projects and trials to test solutions, measure and assess outcomes, and transition the trials into our daily business operations,’ he said.
“It’s all part of our commitment to the WA community to be future ready, to manage the network and deliver power to our two million plus customers through investing time and resources into technologies that support Western Australians lifestyles.”
Above: CEO, Ed Kalajzic, visits the Midland Junction digital substation which was part of the pilot.
Mr Kalajzic said Western Power had implemented a Digital Asset Management initiative to explore and implement technological innovations to help manage assets in a way that underpins critical decisions and drives increased value for our customers.
“Under this initiative we implemented a digital substation project to use a range of digital devices across our substations to increase efficiency, safety and environmental responsibility while driving down direct and indirect associated costs,” he said.
“Our approach supports optimum use of existing assets while reducing system outage requirements and now means we can obtain real-time condition monitoring data of transmission primary assets via a digital communication network.”
Mr Kalajzic said the digital substation project exceeded expectations with outcomes providing several key benefits for our customers and our business.
“Digitally monitoring assets provides us with proactive condition information, which can result in less unexpected outages, as well as better coordination of planned maintenance.”
Several other key digitisation projects/initiatives we have underway include:
- Installing advanced metering infrastructure within our network - by 2022 we’ll have 238,000 advanced meters installed
- Trialling smart streetlights technology for enhanced and innovative street lighting.