Cognite and the grid operator used Cognite Data Fusion to collect and contextualize data from different systems, simplifying how the company processes grid connection applications.
To meet the needs of an increasingly electrified society and accelerate the shift toward renewable energy, grid operators need to be able to connect new power generation systems and consumers to the grid in a safe and efficient manner.
To process grid connection applications, grid operators conduct feasibility and impact studies to determine whether or not the grid, as currently constructed, can handle the additional load. If not, the network will need to be upgraded.
These studies are time-consuming analytical tasks. Grid operators often need to examine several years’ worth of historical data to review how the grid has changed over time. They also need to be able to look into the future to see how one application to connect to the grid may affect other applications that are being processed, and how it might interfere with other planned work on the grid.
Much of this process involves gathering information from different systems. That may include customer information, sensor data from the power grid, information about how other grid connection applications are progressing, and more. Some grid operators have found that as much as half of the time it takes them to process a grid connection application is spent gathering and cleaning data. This, combined with the growth in renewable energy companies looking to connect their assets to the grid, means that it is not uncommon for grid operators to have a backlog of applications.
Cognite worked with a major grid operator to liberate information from the company’s source systems, including operational statuses, disconnections, generation capacities, and sensor data, and ingest it into Cognite Data Fusion (CDF).
After the different data sets were structured in context with one another, the development team created an easy-to-use application that helps the grid operator’s analysts explore the contextualized data. The application enables users to quickly navigate through different assets on the grid and easily look up information on load, capacities, and disconnections, which can then be visualized or prepared for further analysis.
With all the relevant information needed to process grid connection applications accessible in one location, the grid operator can more efficiently add new power sources to the grid. This benefits both the grid operator and society in general.
The grid operator estimates that improving how it processes applications is worth an estimated $1.2 million a year. Half of this figure is related to the grid operator’s own efficiency gains, as its analysts no longer have to collect and clean data from different systems; the other half, societal benefits created by reducing the time it takes to connect to the grid.