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San Diego Gas and Electric among first to adopt advanced OMS

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San Diego Gas & Electric has launched an advanced Outage Management System (OMS) that will use new smart grid technology to speed the detection of power outages and help utility personnel restore electricity to customers faster than ever before.  SDG&E is one of the first utilities in the nation to adopt an outage management system of this magnitude and sophistication.

The OMS uses new computer software that provides grid operators with real-time information about the status of the electric network and enhances situational awareness of the entire distribution system to allow SDG&E to know what's happening on the grid for immediate detection and swift restoration.  SDG&E has integrated a Geographic Information System into the new OMS, which provides highly-detailed geographical images and technical data about the electric grid. 

The system will connect to SDG&E's extensive network of smart meters for a comprehensive view into the real-time state of the grid in order to identify and restore outages faster.

In addition to smart meters, the new OMS uses other technology to bolster outage restoration times.  SDG&E is continuing to install Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices throughout the electric system to enhance reliability overall.  These "smart switches" employ wireless connections that allow remote control of switches and circuit breakers from a centralized control room.  The SCADA switches can move power around problem areas and quickly restore service to many customers prior to dispatching crews to the field.  The utility has installed SCADA systems on 98 percent of transmission lines and 70 percent of distribution lines. 

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