Skip to content

"Outage Prevention" is key for utility joining pilot progam

Midwest Electric Cooperative Corporation is pursuing new technologies that will better support operations and maintenance programs for their overhead infrastructure. Finding new ways to decrease maintenance costs, while increasing the grid reliability, is shown to directly impact the rate payer. 

rs=w_1280 (17)Midwest Electric joins 4 other Nebraska utilities to work with Snappy Workflow’s beta program this summer season for large scale grid optimization. 

Utilities like Midwest Electric are looking for ways to better identify and plan for system repairs. 

“We continue to look for ways to be more efficient and more effective in providing safe and reliable power to our members. We feel this program will provide us with better information than we’ve had access to previously and will allow us to prevent outages before they happen,” said General Manager, Jayson Bishop.

Thermography is a non-contact way to identify failing components so proactive repairs can be made. Until now technology limited using thermography at scale without negatively impacting rates or limited personnel during peak season. The images below identify components that are overheating but have not yet failed. Catching this early, could prevent an outage and excessive overtime. 

rs=w_1280 (18)

rs=w_1280 (19)The Nebraska team is developing a vehicle-based sensor and software package to enable utilities a real-time snapshot of their entire system in less than 1 month, which has traditionally been spread out over a decade. When scaled properly, this will directly improve the maintenance programs at the utility, with minimal additional cost vs traditional methods.

“On a per-mile basis Snappy’s process will enable Midwest ECC to analyze their infrastructure from the office so they can first identify, then schedule maintenance activities on high-priority, high-impact areas first,” said Curtis Kayton, Snappy’s President.