Smart Grid Network Planning 2020 Blog

Keep up to date with the latest developments for the Smart Grid Network Planning 2020 virtual conference run by Smart Grid Forums.

Case Study: Helen Electricity

In order to meet the mounting capacity problem, caused by population growth, microgeneration and increased urbanisation, European utilities are increasingly required to upgrade legacy infrastructure. Having a robust refurbishment plan is imperative for coping with changes in peak load occurring in the near future and for ensuring long-term reliability.  

It’s essential that data-driven decision-making is championed to ensure grid expansion and reinforcement costs are kept within acceptable regulatory limits, and high power quality standards are maintained. Utilities must establish optimal timelines for refurbishing key assets and integrating increased grid automation, whilst balancing the technical lifetime of network components with strict compliance rules.  

The first step to achieving data-driven refurbishment planning is to better understand your assets on the ground. This week we caught up with Juha Keränen, Network Strategic Planning Specialist at Helen Sähköverkko Oy, who will be presenting at Smart Grid Network Planning 2020 virtual conference, on how condition-based maintenance holds the key to data-driven refurbishment planning. 

Juha explained: “In 2010, Helen Electricity Network, a DSO in Finland, started to rapidly improve security of supply level in Helsinki. This was achieved by adding new technology, including secondary substation automation and MV network neutral compensation, to produce the great outcome of a record SAIDI 1,5 minutes, in 2019. 

Ten years ago, MV and LV network refurbishments were executed at a very fast pace, because of higher failure rates in certain network components. This means that our MV and LV network is relatively young now and we’re able to slow the pace down a little bit, without increasing the risk level and maintaining a high quality of supply. 

In Helsinki, the old network has been refurbished because of external pressures and by self-oriented replacement. Joint construction projects are always utilised, but self-oriented replacement can be adjusted. We cannot totally cut down annual investments, because we want to avoid peaks in excavation works and restructuring debt. With good knowledge of city planning, component technical lifetime, failure statistics, condition monitoring data, and different types of maintenance data, we have developed a condition-based replacement strategy that can be utilised. I look forward to sharing our insights and plans with colleagues at Smart Grid Network Planning 2020.” 

Juha will be presenting alongside 16 other utility case studies, focusing on improving every stage of the network planning process from digitising network planning and integrating emerging technologies into your grid plans, to advanced data visualisation tools. The utility-heavy line-up will be complemented by expert advice from leading consultants and researchers in this area to help utilities meet the long-term demands on the unfolding energy transition.