Digitizing the operations of electric power utilities offers several compelling benefits, each contributing to increased efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the overall efficacy of their operations.
The team at Certrec, enriched with decades of experience working within utility sectors, has assisted numerous utilities in digital transformation. Our efforts often involve implementing SaaS applications, like Taktix (a low-code/no-code process automation tool) and license management apps. These digital solutions lead to data-driven decision-making, amplified efficiencies, and expedited results, offering tangible benefits. A prime example of these advantages is our work with NuScale, where Certrec’s digitization solutions streamlined the process for the company’s small modular reactor design, resulting in significant time and cost savings.
However, it’s critical to acknowledge that with digitization comes an elevated risk of cybersecurity threats. Such threats can notably increase your potential for fines or penalties due to non-compliance with NERC CIP regulations. But if managed effectively, digitization can also enhance the overall security and reliability of your operations.
Here are the primary motivations for power generators to embrace digital transformation:
1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency
Digitization provides power generators with the opportunity to automate tasks, streamline processes, and optimize operations, leading to improved efficiency, fewer manual errors, and better resource utilization. We’ve witnessed a productivity boost of 30 to 60% on average for tasks digitized using Certrec’s SaaS applications, which elevates the ROI and profitability of plants.
2. Data-Driven Decision Making
The vast data yielded by digital systems can be harnessed to make informed decisions, forecast maintenance needs, enhance energy production, and boost overall performance. Some of Certrec’s clients are doing just that. Reach out to us to learn more and potentially connect with these digital pioneers.
3. Real-Time Monitoring and Control
Digitization facilitates real-time monitoring of power generation assets and grid operations, enabling operators to promptly identify and address issues, avert potential problems, and ensure a stable and reliable power supply. Our partnership with Fischer Block allows clients to use AI for component monitoring and fault prediction, potentially reducing costly, unplanned downtime.
4. Remote Operations and Maintenance
Digital technologies allow remote monitoring and control of power facilities, reducing the need for on-site personnel and trimming travel expenses related to maintenance and inspections. Our alliance with Asylon offers the possibility of drones and robots for remote monitoring and security purposes. To better understand this technological evolution, see the video here.
5. Improved Asset Management
Digital systems streamline asset management by tracking the performance, maintenance history, and lifecycle of power generation equipment, optimizing maintenance schedules, and prolonging asset lifespan.
6. Integration of Renewable Energy Sources
As renewable energy sources rise in prominence, digital technologies play a critical role in their efficient integration into the power grid. Smart grid solutions proficiently manage dynamic power supply and demand. Our alliance with AWS grants access to their innovative Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS). For more information visit our alliance page.
7. Cybersecurity and Resilience
Digitization necessitates a focus on cybersecurity, prompting utilities to reinforce their defenses against cyber threats. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures ensures the protection of critical infrastructure. Our partnership with Xenex offers affordable, high-level cybersecurity solutions. More information can be found on our Xenex alliance page, or by contacting us at Cybersecurity@Certrec.com.
8. Customer Engagement and Demand Response
Digital platforms empower utilities to engage more effectively with customers. Through smart meters and demand response programs, consumers can actively participate in energy management, helping to stabilize the grid and reduce peak loads.
9. Compliance and Reporting
Digital systems simplify compliance with regulatory requirements by automating data collection and reporting processes, reducing non-compliance risks and related penalties. Certrec’s Taktix application and RegSource GRC with a data repository serves as an excellent example of such a system.
10. Innovation and Future-Readiness
Embracing digitization portrays power generators as forward-thinking and adaptable, fostering a culture of innovation and facilitating the adoption of emerging
technologies. This ensures readiness for future changes in the energy landscape. For additional information, refer to McKinsey’s Accelerating Digital Transformations.
Here is a bonus reason:
11. Environmental Sustainability
Digitization can contribute to environmental sustainability efforts. By optimizing energy usage, reducing waste, and integrating renewable energy sources, power generators can lower their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner energy future.
The digitization of operations equips power generators with data-driven insights, superior operational efficiency, heightened customer engagement, and the adaptability necessary to navigate the complexities of the contemporary energy landscape. This transformation transcends mere improvement of current operations and ROI enhancement; it future-proofs your business, setting the stage for a sustainable and technologically advanced future.
To provide you comprehensive guidance on NERC CIP compliance, our team of experts is always ready to assist. Reach out to us at NERCExperts@certrec.com. Explore more about our services at www.certrec.com