Location-based Situational Intelligence for California’s Utility Operator

California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAL ISO) is Space-Time Insight’s geospatial solutions for what the company calls "situational intelligence" to manage the state's power grid. The solution employs Space-Time Insight’s location integration and visualization technology to give CAL ISO a more real-time view of situations impacting power supply such as weather and natural disasters. Given the state's propensity for wild fires, ISO is using the technology to not only view the locations of raging fires but also to understand conditions that might arise later. CAL ISO is taking data from Cal Fire showing areas that have already burned plus data from infrared system to show what is currently burning and then integrate wind patterns for more predictive analysis.

Space-Time Insight has been working with ISO on a new control center (See Figure 1 below). Much of the data coming from operators that are managing 25000 miles of power lines were being provided with only tabular data. These operators were scouring data for anomalies related to energy management, market data, plus the affects of weather and natural disasters (fires, explosions, etc.). Integrating these data was a daunting task and lots of critical information was falling through the cracks. Space-Time Insights is helping to assimilate location-based information on market pricing and looking at real-time and day ahead forward looking market intelligence. ISO could then understand from which pricing nodes across the state (See Figure 2 below) to purchase energy at the best possible price and to determine if they should buy on the real-time or forward-looking market. On objective for CAL ISO is to balance supply and demand with renewable vs. non-renewable energy sources.

The problem CAL ISO is facing and will continue to face is tranactional: dealing with data from smart meter technology that will inundate operators with information that needs to be distilled to actionable intelligence. One of Space-Time Insight's advantages is running in-memory applications for more timely analysis like the power surges during last hour for example or looking at outages and then be able to provide the underlying data that may have contributed to the situation.

CAL ISO control room

Figure 1 (Courtesy of Space-Time Insight; click for larger image)

Figure 2 (Courtesty of Space-Time Insight; click for larger image)

Published Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Written by Joe Francica

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