ESB in deal with Oracle to power new housing projects

14 Dec 2007

ESB Networks has struck a deal with database giant Oracle to deploy a Utilities Network Management System that will allow the electricity supplier to efficiently manage power distribution to new housing developments.

ESB is currently centralising control of network operations in response to the requirement by the Irish energy regulator’s requirement for accurate reporting to ensure high standards of network performances.

ESB Networks is mandated with operating and managing the distribution system, which provides power to a customer base of more than 1.7 million homes and businesses across Ireland.

Prior to the Oracle deal, only 18 of the ESB’s 34 area-office locations could access the operations management system, impeding organisation-wide deployment. The organisation has now completed its deployment of Oracle Utilities Network Management System to all 34 area offices.

“Our customers expect high standards of service delivery and supply quality,” said Frank Giblin, operations management system (OMS) project manager, ESB Networks. “The recently deployed OMS based on Oracle Utilities Network Management System will help us achieve these critical goals.

“We selected Oracle’s Utilities Network Management System because of its rich functionality set for both outage and network/switching management and comprehensive SCADA, CIS, GIS and IVR interface facilities,” Giblin continued.

“It is one of the more mature vendor offerings in the outage and distribution management market with a proven track record. Working in partnership with Oracle Utilities, we completed the project on time.”

ESB Networks has centralised its network and outage management functions within two distribution control centres, while providing the flexibility to allow its area offices to manage the network during emergency or storm conditions or planned outages.

ESB uses the real-time switching management function within Oracle’s Utilities Network Management System to manage network operations associated with new construction work in a safe, timely and efficient manner.

The system allows ESB to quickly identify and resolve power outages by quickly predicting the location of faults and helping dispatchers and repair crews manage and resolve issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. This efficiency reduces average outage durations, improves customer service and helps ESB Networks meet regulatory requirements.

“In recent years, Ireland’s electricity demand has grown exponentially due to the current construction boom and strict regulatory requirements. ESB Networks needed a stable, high-performance technology infrastructure to provide its network operations function with a leading operations management solution,” said Brad Kitchin, vice-president, professional services for EMEA, Oracle Utilities Global Business Unit.

By John Kennedy