Twenty years ago, the internet took a century-old telephone network and turned it into an information superhighway. Today, something similar is happening in the power supply industry.
The power grid has already become an ‘internet for electricity’ where suppliers and consumers trade and regulate commodities in a two-way relationship.
Doug Schmidt is General Manager Networks at SA Power Networks, the 70-year-old electricity distributor that services virtually all residential and commercial customers in South Australia. He calls his part of the power supply chain “the poles and wires.”
Privatised in 2000, 80% of SA Power Networks’ value lies in the poles, power lines and substations it maintains, assets totalling $4 billion.
After 70 years, the company performs well on quality and reliability. But like every other player in the industry, it’s facing disruption fuelled by wind power, solar, and electric vehicles.
SA Power Networks is modifying its existing asset management (AM) framework in response.
This case study outlines how the problem is being assessed, the challenges, and the solutions for a new AM approach.
It’s an ongoing process in an era of unprecedented rapid change.
Here is a summary taken from Doug Schmidt, General Manager Networks SA Power Networks, key note presentation to AMPEAK16 Conference held in Adelaide April 2016. Read full article here