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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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Early Survey Findings Indicate Continuing Growth in Substation Modernization Investment

Substation Data Communications Protocol Usage Continues to Find Heavy Reliance on DNP3 in North America

July 18, 2017, Ellicott City, MD. The Newton-Evans Research Company is well underway with its triennial tracking study of change occurring in the world’s electric power substations entitled: The World Market for Substation Automation and Integration Programs in Electric Utilities: 2017-2020. The study will compare the new round of research findings with several earlier substation modernization tracking studies conducted by the company since 1986. More than 75 large and mid-size North American electric power utilities will be participating in this multi-part study, before the focus turns to surveying the International community of electric power utilities in August.

Newton-Evans Research will estimate and forecast the 2017-2020 outlook for North American spending for substation automation and integration programs. Earlier estimates derived from the similar 2013 study stood at $690 million, with an overall potential North American market size of nearly $10 billion. Global potential spending for substation modernization programs had been estimated at about $38-$40 billion. This amount includes spending for a wide range of intelligent substation-resident equipment and devices and the manpower to undertake the systems integration efforts required.

Preliminary Observations:

  • It is becoming more difficult to separate substation product classifications as equipment manufacturers tout their offerings as “multifunctional” and the product positioning of many intelligent electronic devices now cuts across multiple product classifications.
  • The outlook for increased reliance on commercial services providers working in substation modernization activities remains strongly positive. Third party engineering and integration service firms have continued to make significant strides in winning substation automation-related business, from planning to design to construction and to technical equipment installation.
  • Utility manpower shortages and funding issues continue to negatively impact the ability of technology supplier companies to engage utilities for other than short-term automation requirements. In states and provinces wherein regulators have approved strong incentives for reliability improvements or for transmission line extensions, the spending outlook is robust, despite a lack of clarity in some energy policy development activities of federal U.S. agencies.
  • In general, retrofit substations will be upgraded as warranted during the outlook period, based on regional load growth, load criticality to customers, and related distributed generation and renewables siting developments. New substations will increasingly be designed and constructed as integrated and automated remote assets for the utility. The current study finds the bulk of available substation automation budgets likely to be spent for new substations, with continued emphasis on the bulk power system.
  • The use of encryption techniques for transmission of substation data continues to grow, at least for wide area data exchanges between control centers and substations as evidenced by early survey returns received by Newton-Evans. This continues a long-term pattern of increased use of encryption for sensitive data communications between and among intelligent devices within the substation and from the substation to the control center.

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.

Additional 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, download our brochure: http://www.newton-evans.com/brochures/2017SSABrochure-June2017.pdf

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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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Findings from International Study of EMS, SCADA, DMS, and OMS Indicate Differences in Usage Patterns and Development Priorities When Compared to North American Companies

The Newton-Evans Research Company has published report findings from the company’s recently completed study of EMS, SCADA, DMS and OMS usage patterns in international electric power utilities. This is the second of four volumes of its 14th global market assessment of operational control systems – a survey-based study conducted by Newton-Evans since 1984.

Here are some observations gleaned from interviews and surveys with 31 utility participants from 25 countries:

Systems in Use
All utilities that participated in the survey are operating SCADA systems, and 74% also have an energy management (EMS) installation. Fifty-two percent use a distribution management systems (DMS) and 61% use an outage management system (OMS).

Continue reading Findings from International Study of EMS, SCADA, DMS, and OMS Indicate Differences in Usage Patterns and Development Priorities When Compared to North American Companies

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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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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.

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Findings from Newton-Evans 2016 Study of Protective Relay Trends in the World’s Electric Power Utilities Depict a Receptive Market for Incorporating Advanced Technological Capabilities

Global Study Finds Continuing Moderate Growth in Protective Relay Market with Commitment to Improving Protection Coordination and Grid Security Practices

Role of Synchrophasors and Teleprotection Continues to Expand; Provides Better Situational Awareness and Visualization for Control System Operators

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

Among the key findings reported in the four-volume study are these:

  • Most new and retrofit relay units being purchased are digital relays, but in some of the protection applications studied, such as motor protection and large generator applications, and in installations where electrical interference is strong, electromechanical and older solid state relays continue to have a niche market position.
  • The annual world market for protective relays and related power systems protection devices continues to grow at a moderate pace that exceeds many other categories of electric utility investments for grid modernization.
  • Manufacturers of protective relays continue to expand their market coverage, with more than 20 firms each enjoying at least some share of the global market.
  • Real-time analysis of synchrophasor data is becoming a major application for the emerging field of operational analytics.
  • Communications protocol usage patterns continue to serve as a key differentiator between large and mid-size North American electric utilities and their international counterparts, as shown in the accompanying chart.

The 2016 Newton-Evans survey of electric utilities includes more than 20 detailed product functionality topics, related technical questions, and market-related issues, together incorporating more than 250 data points of information from each of the participating utilities.

Further information on the research series The World Market for Protective Relays in Electric Utilities: 2016-2018 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 our website for additional information:
http://www.newton-evans.com/relaymarketplacestudy2016-2018