More network activities, fewer outage opportunities
For decades, system operators have been developing and maintaining the electrical grid in order to guarantee the security of supply for several million consumers. Nevertheless, the current changes in the energy landscape and the linked transition is bringing new unseen challenges.
Nowadays, the aging of assets and the growth in investments made for the integration of renewable energy sources considerably increases the number of grid activities (e.g. infrastructure works, preventive maintenance) to be scheduled each year as well as the number and duration of related planned outages.
At the same time, the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources increases the need for short-term replanning due to changes in the expected operating conditions and reduces the number of opportune moments to plan outages.
This current context increases the number of factors the planning engineer has to consider simultaneously; going from the workforce availability and competences to security of supply and passing by impact on market availability. It therefore becomes impossible for the planning engineer to handle the increasing complexity and to frequently update manually his operational planning. He therefore needs to adapt and reinvent its planning process.
Optimize your intervention and outage planning with Advanced Analytics
To answer these growing challenges, N-SIDE developed in a partnership with Elia, the Belgian Transmission System Operator, a decision-support optimization software able to find an optimal planning for one year with up to 10.000 grid activities and linked outages for a time horizon going from year-ahead planning to week-ahead updates, allowing a more agile planning of activities when possible but also more stable when necessary.
The developed solution combines state-of-the-art optimization techniques with business knowledge. Due to the size and the complexity of the exercise, N-SIDE selected Constraint Programming to model and solve the problem. These innovative analytics techniques makes it possible to consider multiple business objectives with network and resource constraints in an integrated way:
- Prioritization and requested execution intervals of grid activities
- Incompatibilities and dependencies of grid activities
- Workforce availability, capacity and competences (dispatchers, field technicians, switching operators…)
- Impact on the security of supply: criticality of outages, risk of energy not served or not injected, outage opportunities and incompatibilities
- Impact on the market (e.g. cross-border capacity)
The developed optimization engine is able to find a near-optimal planning for up to 10.000 grid activities and linked outages in a reasonable amount of time for a time horizon going from year-ahead planning to week-ahead updates, allowing a more agile planning of activities when possible but also more stable when necessary.
Moreover, this unique mathematical modeling enables multiple users to collaborate with a single tool taking into consideration the specificity of their respective areas of responsibilities:
- Workforce management and planning: enable planners and foremen to keep track of planned interventions and frequently update grid activity needs and resource availability with a daily granularity
- Outage planning and grid constraints management: enable network analysts and planning engineers to schedule and track planned outages over the time on multiple voltage levels and adapt network constraints based on the evolution of the grid
- Strategic planning: enable key decision makers to understand the impact on the planning of prioritizing one business objective over the others by performing what-if scenarios and sensitivity analysis
Our approach combines multiple business objectives with network and resource constraints in an integrated way
Get the full picture of your planning in a single tool and make the link between the planners, network analysts and foremen involved in the process
A more efficient planning of grid activities and linked outages
Reduce the workload of your planners, network analysts and foremen by combining their in-depth business expertise with the power of advanced analytics to quickly process millions of data and tens of constraints.
increase in the share of your maintenance plan realized each year
decrease in the number of planned outage-days
decrease in the risk of energy not served