GridBright Roadmaps Grid Modernization
Increasing complex and impactful demands from utility operations and customers, bolstered by the tailwinds of significant government infrastructure investment opportunities, are driving utilities of all types and sizes to create strategic but actionable roadmaps for critical enterprise systems.
Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC), one such utility, provides electric, water, sewer, and natural gas services to the City of Greenville and 75% of Pitt County. It serves a combined total of nearly 165,000 customer connections. The citizens of Greenville own Greenville Utilities but operate under a separate charter issued by the N.C. General Assembly.
GridBright was initially engaged by GUC to complete an Oracle Roadmap. GUC has a heavy investment in Oracle software. However, critical future Grid Modernization technology approaches such as AMI and advanced Demand Response were not committed investment projects. Additionally, several vital operations systems decisions regarding Work Management and GIS, each impactful on the roadmap outcome, were under evaluation.
Further complicating the required analysis, GUC has a legacy of progressive IT/OT adoption for operational excellence. They have successfully captured the economies of these investments—a good outcome but posing significant limits to baseline benefit realization for advanced Grid Modernization actions.
The first phase of the roadmap focused on various upgrade scenarios for GUC’s CIS, which was several releases behind. Critical to the optimum scenario was an investment decision in AMI and an upgrade from their AMR system. The road map was thus expanded to create the baseline business case for AMI at GUC with a comprehensive analysis of leading demand response options.
As Federal Infrastructure grants became available, the outcome of the roadmap was a critical element of GUC’s application for a Smart Grid Project under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) program to design and execute a multi-faceted, replicable, resiliency, and equity-focused advanced metering infrastructure (AMl) project within its service territory.
“GridBright brought excellent experience and insight throughout the entire roadmap process. Their work provided the perfect balance of strategic thinking with experienced-based and actionable steps for GUC to proceed on our Grid Modernization journey”, said Andy Anderson, Director of Information Technology at GUC. “Their follow-on support for the grant process was excellent and impactful,” he added.
Grid Modernization planning is critical to utilities such as GUC as the industry responds to the formidable challenges of future electric grid demands. Having a roadmap is a critical first step in focusing on and realizing benefits from the investments to be undertaken.