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Midpoint Of 2017 North American Study Finds Increase In Substation Construction And Retrofit Plans Over 2014 Findings

The Newton-Evans Research Company has reached the midpoint of its triennial tracking study of change and automation occurring in the world’s electric power substations.

As of August 7, more than 50 major US and Canadian utilities have submitted their survey responses to Newton-Evans staff. A summary of some key interim findings in this 30-part survey process are as follows:

Impediments to Substation Automation
There are no impediments currently being viewed as major hurdles to implementing substation automation for either new or existing HV and MV substations. Most respondents at the midpoint of the North American study have indicated some mild-to-moderate concerns with eight of the “potential obstacles” listed on the survey form, including security concerns, insufficient staffing levels, lack of funding and not having a solid business case for further substation automation

Substation Construction Plans
North American respondents to date have indicated plans for construction of hundreds of new HV and MV substations in their service areas by 2020. Hundreds more substation are planned for retrofits over the same outlook period. The findings surpass the outlooks of earlier Newton-Evans tracking studies.

Control Logic in RTUs
About 30% of North American respondents to date have indicated some use of control logic in their substation RTUs. Another 14% plan to have control logic integrated into RTUs by 2020. Control logic is currently being used among North American utilities for alarm logic and transfer trip schemes – important for renewables power flows, opening and closing breakers and operation of field devices.

Future of Hard-Wired I/O
While many North American respondents have indicated that hard-wired I/O will continue indefinitely to have a role in their substation data acquisition activities, 60% of the respondents at midpoint have indicated use of and plans for I/O from both IEDs and some hard-wired I/O. About 14% of those responding to this survey question indicated that all I/O will come from IEDs. Three key reasons for replacing legacy hard-wired I/O based on respondent feedback include:
1) The legacy I/O hardwired approach is old and approaching end-of-life;
2) Utilities cannot obtain sufficient support from their vendors to continue total reliance on hard-wired I/O;
3) Utilities can now obtain most of their required I/O from substation IEDs.

Additional topics being covered in the four-volume series of substation automation studies include in-depth coverage of several data communications topics, vendor security certification requirements, external systems linkages to the substation, preferred equipment suppliers, substation timing requirements, and an assessment of how North America’s electric power substations are positioned along a three-step path to complete automation. Other volumes will cover international utility survey findings; the four year market outlook for each world region, and profiles of major regional and global suppliers.

More information on the North American substation market report, and the other three reports comprising the four-volume study Worldwide Market for Substation Automation and Integration Programs in Electric Utilities: 2017-2020 is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone +1-410-465-7316, email: info@newton-evans.com. For a brochure on this series, visit:
http://www.newton-evans.com/brochures/2017SSABrochure-June2017.pdf

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Upcoming Early Autumn Conference Participation

After a brief summer hiatus, away from energy industry events, with the successful IEEE Power and Energy Society event recently completed, and this not being a CIGRE year, the summer lull in conferences has taken hold until early September.

Then things start getting busy, with dozens of electric power and related energy conferences scheduled for the September-November months.

Newton-Evans’ Chuck Newton has speaking roles at three upcoming conferences over a three-week period on three different – but related – topics.

First, at the upcoming EMMOS (Energy Management and Market Operations Systems) conference being held in New Orleans (September 17-20) Chuck will brief attendees on “Grid Modernization from an Energy Policy Perspective” on Monday, September 18. http://emmos.org/

Two days later (September 20) Chuck will speak in Auburn, Alabama on “Communications Trends in Utility Operations” at the annual “Auburn Conference” (aka the Southeast Distribution Apparatus School and Conference). http://utilitytech.org

On October 4, speaking at the SCADA Technology Summit in Denver, Colorado, Chuck will keynote the conference with a talk on “North American Market Trends and Technology Advances in SCADA, Substation Automation and Protection and Control.” www.scadatechsummit.com

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Multi-Part Newton-Evans Research Study Reveals Significant Growth Likely for Advanced DMS Systems and Applications

The Newton-Evans Research Company continues to assess its findings from the firm’s comprehensive 2017 study of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS usage patterns among utilities from more than 30 countries.

Current status of Advanced DMS (ADMS)
The Newton-Evans’ survey asked respondents to indicate whether their DMS installation provided SCADA, DMS and OMS functionality together in one user interface and this served as our definition of ADMS for this study.

Overall, 69% of international electric utilities who responded to the survey either currently have or plan to have an Advanced DMS that provides SCADA, DMS and OMS together in one user interface. Thirty-five percent currently have ADMS, and 34% plan to implement ADMS in the near future.

This contrasts with only 9% of North American survey respondents who reported having an ADMS as of the first quarter of 2017. Twenty percent of North American respondents indicated they will have an ADMS by the end of 2019, and another 17% indicated plans for implementing an ADMS sometime after 2019. Overall, 46% of the North American sample either currently has or plans to have an ADMS. Some of the North American sample included “transmission-only” utilities/ISOs.

fig. 1

Continue reading Multi-Part Newton-Evans Research Study Reveals Significant Growth Likely for Advanced DMS Systems and Applications

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Newton-Evans Study Finds Heavy Use of IP/MPLS and Continued Reliance on Utility-Operated Telecommunications Networks for EMS/SCADA and DMS Systems

The latest findings from the Newton-Evans Research Company study of control systems used in the electric power industry point to heavy reliance on IP/MPLS networks for wide area communications from substations and other field locations to central site control systems.

Reliance on IP/MPLS Networks
Sixty-seven percent of international respondents use Internet Protocol/Multi-Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) technology for communication from the substation to the external host/network. Thirty percent use a mix of T1/E1 and/or SONET/SDH and packet networks. It is likely that MPLS-TP (Transport Profile) will see increased use in the next Newton-Evans control systems study scheduled for 2019.

Forty-nine percent of North American respondents use IP/MPLS network technology for communication from the substation to the external host/network. Thirty-seven percent use T1/E1 and 33% use SONET/SDH, followed by 27% who use Carrier Ethernet. Often, more than one type of network is used. Half of North America’s investor owned utilities in the survey continue to use T1/E1, and over half of them use IP/MPLS as well.

Continue reading Newton-Evans Study Finds Heavy Use of IP/MPLS and Continued Reliance on Utility-Operated Telecommunications Networks for EMS/SCADA and DMS Systems

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Newton-Evans Study Indicates Similarities in Plans for Full Digital Substations and Differences for Condition-Based Maintenance Programs Among Electric Utilities

Newton-Evans Research Company continues to assess findings from its six-month research study and survey of protective relay usage patterns in the world community of electric power utilities. Insights received from 114 large and mid-sized utilities in 28 countries point to some interesting differences in plans for implementation of the “full digital substation” concept and to increased use of condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies for protective relays.

Implementation of the “Full Digital Substation” Concept:
Thirty-four percent of the survey respondents from the U.S. and Canada agreed with the statement, “By year end 2018, we will be well on our way toward implementing the full digital substation concept.” Thirty-seven percent disagreed with the statement. Forty percent of small North American utilities (fewer than 100,000 customers) agreed with the statement, but only 18% of large utilities (more than 500,000 customers) concurred.

Forty-three percent of the international respondents agreed with the same statement, which is slightly more than what was observed in North America (34%). Twenty-five percent had no opinion, and another 25% disagreed. Importantly, the typical international utility respondent was somewhat larger (in terms of customers served) than their North American counterpart.

“By year end 2018, we will be well on our way toward implementing the full digital substation concept”

Continue reading Newton-Evans Study Indicates Similarities in Plans for Full Digital Substations and Differences for Condition-Based Maintenance Programs Among Electric Utilities

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Newton-Evans Study Finds Differences in Spending Plans for Electric Utility Control Systems Over the 2017-2019 Years

Nearly half of North American electric utilities participating in the 2017-2019 Newton-Evans Research study plan to upgrade or retrofit their SCADA system by 2019. Twenty-two percent plan to upgrade or retrofit their energy management system (EMS), and twenty-five percent will upgrade or retrofit their outage management system (OMS). Twenty-six percent of North American utilities in the survey sample are adding a new or replacement distribution management system (DMS) or advanced DMS by 2019.

In comparison to the North America survey sample, a greater percentage of international utilities surveyed plan to install new or replacement systems for EMS, SCADA and OMS. A greater percentage also plan to upgrade and/or retrofit systems across the board. Twenty-nine percent of international survey respondents plan to replace or install new EMS or OMS systems by the end of 2019. Sixty-four percent will upgrade or retrofit their existing SCADA systems, and 36% will upgrade or retrofit their DMS or OMS systems by year end 2019.

Continue reading Newton-Evans Study Finds Differences in Spending Plans for Electric Utility Control Systems Over the 2017-2019 Years

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Research Findings Point to Upgrade of EMS, SCADA and DMS Capabilities during 2017-2019 among North American Electric Power Utilities to Accommodate Renewables Integration and Demand Response

Emphasis Placed on Extending Applications and Expanding Roles of Distribution Management Systems and Outage Management Systems

Here are some observations based on interviews and surveys with 69 utilities from North America participating in our survey:

Almost one-half of all North America survey respondents (47%) plan to upgrade or retrofit their SCADA installations by 2019. Most respondents with such plans were mid-size and larger cooperatives and public power utilities.

Twenty-six percent of respondents plan to purchase a new or replacement DMS by 2019. Only six (major) utilities reported that they currently have an Advanced DMS, but 24 others will have an ADMS in the near future. Importantly, of the 30 respondents using or planning to use an ADMS, none indicated that their SCADA functionality and network modeling presently include distributed energy resources (DERs). However, most of this sub-group (82%) plans to include DERs in their ADMS functionality in the future.

Real-time network analysis and fault location were the prevalent applications being used as part of current DMS or ADMS installations. Plans are centered on supplementing these (where not yet implemented) and adding network optimization and distributed energy resource management capabilities. (See Fig. 1)

Figure 1. Applications used as a part of DMS/ADMS

Real-time linkages between SCADA and GIS or OMS were found in 44% of the utility sites. Forty-one percent reported having no real-time linkages among these systems.

Almost half of the survey respondents indicated that the operational systems support group is managed by the line of business, while 31% stated that such support is now part of corporate IT. (See Fig. 2)

Figure 2. How is OS Support Managed?

Third party services are being used and relied upon to assist with NERC CIP compliance issues and for the conduct of vulnerability assessments.

DNP3 continues to be the most prevalent operational data communications protocol throughout North American electric power utilities. Plans call for continuing the use of DNP3 for the foreseeable future among most of these utilities. Some planning for IEC 61850 is underway, but remains at a low level among these respondents.

More than a score of additional topics were surveyed in this new study including the impact of NERC CIP compliance on budgets and workloads; cyber security issues; telecommunications strategies and methodologies; distribution network model maintenance; changing organizational responsibilities for control systems; budget outlooks; and applications usage patterns.

Further information on this new series, “The World Market Study of SCADA, Energy Management Systems and Distribution Management Systems in Electric Utilities: 2017-2019” is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316 Email: info@newton-evans.com or visit us at www.newton-evans.com or to order any of more than 100 related reports. For readers interested in purchasing this new series please call or email the company for special introductory pricing.

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Newton-Evans Study Finds Market for Relay-Centric Devices and Controls Expanding with Emergence and Growth of Newer Industry Segments

Newton-Evans Research Company continues to assess the results of its six-month research study of protective relay usage patterns in the world community of electric power utilities. Findings from 114 large and mid-size utilities in 28 countries point to some newer trends in adoption and use of protection and control technology.

Importance of Purchasing “Known” Relays: Sixty-five percent of the North American respondents strongly agreed with the statement, “It is important that we purchase known relays (a proven product with which we have had prior experience).” Overall, 97% of North American respondents strongly agreed (65%) or agreed (32%). Three people were neutral about this statement. None of the respondents expressed any level of disagreement. Eighty-two percent of North American utilities serving more than 500,000 electricity end users strongly agreed with this statement.

Fifty-three percent of international respondents strongly agreed with this statement. Forty-one percent agreed only somewhat. One person disagreed and one person was neutral about this statement.

Agree or Disagree: “It is important that we purchase known relays (a proven product with which we have had prior experience.)”

Impact:
The role of “purchasing known relays” makes it very difficult for new market entrants to gain a share of this multi-billion-dollar global protective relay market. Similarly, it has become equally difficult for existing relay suppliers to gain new customers unless the relays are components of larger electrical equipment (motors, transformers, switchgear, et al). Despite these market constraints, caused in large part by a steep learning curve in programming and protection settings, some relay manufacturers have increased their market presence through specialization in the design and supply of protective relays for one or more product segments (protection of motors, transformers, generators, switchgear and the like). Other manufacturers have continued to offer a wide range of protection solutions, but address specific world regions or specific types of electric utilities or industries.

Examples of such specialized expertise can be found in many of the companies engaged in the manufacture of protective relays. Witness the success of Beckwith Electric, a market leader in generator protection and now actively engaged in distributed generation protection as well. Basler Electric’s microprocessor-based relays combine multifunction protection with control, metering, data acquisition and network communications. RFL and ERLPhase are two additional specialist participants in the North American and international markets. The global electrical equipment manufacturers with a wide array of protective device offerings include ABB, Eaton, GE, Siemens and Toshiba. Relay-centric manufacturing leaders include the multi-hundred million dollar businesses of the USA’s Schweitzer Engineering Labs (SEL) and the China’s NARI.

So the question now is – how do relay manufacturers grow in a “mature” market for protective devices? The response is this: While the traditional utility and industrial markets for device protection are indeed mature in many countries- there are a host of new relay-centric applications for protective devices that include significant relay-like functions and control-monitoring capabilities and require less complex programming and relay setting procedures. The market requirement to protect distributed energy devices including wind turbines and solar panels continues to grow. The expanding market for distribution automation device controls (capacitor banks, reclosers, line monitors, fault sensors, etc.) provides additional new opportunities for participation by relay manufacturers.

DA: Distribution Automation – Capacitor bank relays, Recloser controls, Fault current limiters
DER: Distributed Energy Resources – Wind turbine relays, Photovoltaic panel relays
ES: Energy Storage – Storage battery relay, AC/DC converter controls
DR: Demand Response – Load control switch relay

For further information on the research series or to order The World Market for Protective Relays in Electric Utilities: 2016-2018 visit our reports page.

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January 2017 Edition of Market Trends Digest

A new edition of the Newton-Evans Market Trends Digest is now available:
http://www.newton-evans.com/newsletter_archive/mtdJan2017.pdf

This issue includes:

  • A look back at the Worldwide Protective Relay Marketplace study completed last month
  • Progress report and interim findings from the 2017-2019 SCADA, EMS, DMS and OMS global market study
  • Excerpts from a 2016 study on the need for third party consulting services in the areas of metering, OT and NERC CIP compliance
  • Observations on the Metering, AMI and related Telecommunications Market

We look forward to sharing more energy industry market intelligence in 2017.

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Early Survey Findings Point to Continuing Development of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS Capabilities during 2017-2019 among North American Electric Power Utilities

The Newton-Evans Research Company has released preliminary findings from its current study of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS usage patterns in North American electric power utilities, one of four component reports of the company’s global market assessment series on operational control systems.

Among the initial observations gleaned from interviews and surveys with over 60 officials from a broad range of U.S. electric utilities:

  • Plans call for upgrades or retrofits to SCADA and OMS systems among a large percentage of these utilities
  • 20% of utilities sampled plan to purchase a new or replacement DMS. 30% indicated that they have or plan on having an Advanced DMS by year-end 2019.
  • Nearly one-half of the respondents reported having real-time linkages in place between SCADA and outage management systems.
  • Third party services are being used and relied upon to assist with NERC CIP compliance issues and for the conduct of vulnerability assessments.
  • DNP 3 continues to be the most prevalent operational data communications protocol throughout North American electric power utilities. Plans call for continuing the use of DNP 3 for the foreseeable future among most of these utilities.
  • The major use of analytics tools is in outage management activities such as fault location determination.
  • More topics surveyed in this new study include: the impact of NERC CIP compliance on budgets and workloads; cyber security issues; telecommunications strategies and methodologies; distribution network model maintenance; changing organizational responsibilities for control systems; budget outlooks; and, DMS applications usage patterns.

    There have been some changes over the last few years in utility organizations with respect to control system support staff. IT departments are now the principal support group in nearly one-third of utilities sampled so far, while 47% report the “OT” organization continuing as the primary support unit. Eighteen percent indicated that both IT and OT staff share responsibility for supporting control systems. See Figure 1.

    The types of networks used for data communications from the substation to the control system vary widely, with most utilities reporting use of multiple networks for the mix of data acquisition requirements. See Figure 2.

    The North American market report is one of four volumes being produced for the company’s fifteenth series of EMS, SCADA and DMS studies published by Newton-Evans Research since 1984. Work on the other three volumes is underway; the entire series will be published during the first quarter of 2017.

    Further information on this new series The World Market Study of SCADA, Energy Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems and Outage Management Systems in Electric Utilities: 2017-2019 is available from Newton-Evans Research Company, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 204, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Phone: 410-465-7316. For readers interested in purchasing this new series please call or email info@newton-evans.com for special introductory pricing.