Challenge

The impact of technology, cyber security, climate change, and the advent of the prosumer are among the leading factors of uncertainty and risks driving the requirements of grid modernization and its digital transformation.

From growth rates of distributed generation and distributed energy resources, to the increasing penetration of behind-the-meter technologies, and the high speed at which digital transformation is taking place, the electrical grid is on the verge of becoming a significantly more complex system to manage reliably.

As utilities and operators, you are expected to deliver resilient, secure, sustainable, and affordable electricity with systems designed in a different era. In short, you are being asked to do more with your electric infrastructure than it was originally intended or ever envisioned to deliver. At the same time, you are faced with aging infrastructure, shifting load profiles, increasing regulatory pressures, loss of tribal knowledge, and a changing workforce.

To thrive in this environment, your business model, operational control, asset management systems, and technology adoption must be agile, integrated, and collaborative. Let us help you future-proof your operation.

Capabilities

Technological and digital roadmapping

Starting with an initial needs assessment and requirements definition and moving through industry benchmark comparisons, roadmap recommendations, and execution strategies, our experts provide tangible value in your planning and implementation. From supporting utilities with the monitoring and evaluation of maturing technologies and the development, review, and implementation of digital system roadmaps to the specification, procurement, and integration of innovative solutions, we aim to provide positive change to your operations.

Substation automation

Improving the efficiency of your substation operations is an accomplishment that is extremely elusive due to dated infrastructure, equipment, and processes. Substation automation can help you achieve optimal productivity while keeping costs and safety incidents at a minimum by reducing human intervention. Through implementing an upgrade from traditional supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to more advanced management systems, we provide the ability for the acquisition, monitoring, and analysis of real-time data for your substations. Smart devices and communication systems are utilized to retrieve data that allow for greater remote control and intelligent automatic responses to power-system devices.

Distributed energy resources (DER) management systems

As the challenges of operating an increasingly complex distribution system grow, one of the key drivers will be an increasing penetration of DERs. To monitor, control, and coordinate the impact of DERs within a system, more utilities are adapting through the deployment of a DER management system (DERMS). A DERMS provides power quality, load balancing, and capacity relief services at specific locations within the grid through the aggregated manipulation of DERs, which could include electric vehicles (EVs), energy storage, distributed generation such as solar, demand response, and many other smart technologies and services that could either be privately-owned or owned by the utility. Distributed energy resources can transform the way power is generated and transmitted by utilizing a combination of both physical and virtual assets that can be implemented across electric grids.

Maturity assessments and best practice benchmarking

Whether you are upgrading your operations to meet industry standards or updating your practices to be best-in-class, our extensive experience with maturity assessments of distribution and transmission infrastructure, as well as grid modernization activities has you covered. From industry benchmark comparisons and recommendations, to the development or review of your grid modernization roadmap, our experts provide tangible value in your planning and implementation.

Integrated resource planning (IRP)

With increasing amounts of distributed utility scale renewable energy resources, more customer installed renewable generation, and energy storage, it is increasingly important to have a plan in place to ensure that your electricity grid remains both reliable and online. In more jurisdictions, we are helping utilities integrate resiliency planning into their IRPs by considering priority risk mitigation activities. From load growth forecasting, generation technology development, fuel availability and prices, implementation of major generation projects, demand side management/energy efficiency programs, and integration of distributed energy resources, let us tailor a solution that is right for you and your systems.

Asset management and operational performance

Our utility asset management strategy is designed to help you optimize the value generated from your operations while maintaining budgets by first determining whether you maintain, upgrade, retire, or replace your assets, or delay action altogether. Our experts can manage and assist with operations and maintenance (O&M) process review and recommendations, risk-based program optimization, asset condition assessments, process development and studies, and feasibility studies.

Advanced distribution management systems (ADMS)

Managing a grid is no easy task. Increasing regulatory and customer pressures to improve reliability and resiliency are challenged by aging infrastructure and more frequent and increasingly impactful major climate events. An increasing number of distribution utilities are considering the move towards ADMS that will more optimally leverage the full suite of distribution management smart technology offerings to improve system reliability and resiliency. Let us help you scan through the dozens of vendor options available by assessing your desired level of service, risk tolerance, and needs versus wants to specify the desired ADMS offering.

Distribution automation

Automation is becoming increasingly prevalent across distribution networks. With an accelerating increase in the deployment of smart devices across the distribution network, there is a greater need for intelligent and automated controls to manage how power is delivered and to ensure reliable communication mediums. Our planning, implementation, and integration services are geared towards ensuring that every aspect of your operation can acclimate to increasingly complex bi-directional distribution configurations. From internet of things (IoT) devices, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), volt/VAR control and optimization, automatic switching devices, conservation voltage reduction, data management, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence-embedded controls, and micro-grid management, we provide all-encompassing solutions to modernize your power delivery services.

Non-wires alternatives (NWA)

The increase of bi-directional power, new demand profiles, and increasing digital technologies has created a shift in how we transmit and distribute power. In some cases, this means moving away from traditional poles and wires offerings by incorporating non-wires alternatives into the modernization of the grid. In an increasing number of jurisdictions, regulators are requiring a comparative NWA evaluation before even considering any traditional linear infrastructure upgrades, extensions, or new deployments. Let us help you identify NWA options that will cost-effectively maintain your system reliability while seeking to reduce your network congestion at peak demand.

Physical and cybersecurity

Ensuring that your assets, systems, and data are reliably protected is crucial to your business especially as cyberattacks become more prevalent through an increase in smart operational technology deployment. Electric utilities are the third-most targeted industry in North America by cyberattackers. One breach could stifle your business processes, lead to the loss of sensitive data, or cause physical asset damage and service interruptions, which is why it is crucial to ensure that your systems are designed and configured to withstand such disruptions. Our experts can help you design, develop, build, and implement a security strategy that will safeguard your operations.

Regulatory and tariff structuring/filing

Tariff structures and the correct rates are crucial to generating sufficient revenue from ratepayers to cover capital and operating expenditures. Once the planning and financial forecasting processes have been completed, the cost allocation model is developed. Estimating the costs that each customer group imposes on the system is the first step in recovering costs in a fair and equitable manner. Once target rates are determined, filing the rate application and providing evidence justifying desired expenditures can also be challenging, especially in recent times as regulators want to ensure all proposal capital costs are required. Our experts can help you determine what rates to propose, how to present information during the regulatory process, and how to generate the technical and financial supporting documentation to defend any specific expenditure.

Blogs

Robert Francki

Powering the energy needs of tomorrow

Robert Francki
As the world’s energy consumption continues to increase, we must find new ways to generate, distribute, and use energy to achieve the profound transformation required to mitigate and reverse the forces of climate change. Hatch’s global managing director of Energy, Robert Francki shares how Hatch is responding.
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