Electric utilities thrive with DIREXYON Suite Asset Investment Planning

Electric utility companies today are juggling some very difficult and unprecedented challenges. With climate change and post-pandemic vibes intensifying capital costs and infrastructure degradation, network sustainability is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. Furthermore, the push towards renewable energy generation, decentralized generation, energy storage, and electrification of transport, all point toward major transformations that will result in regulatory changes for decades to come. To thrive, utilities of the future need to be agile, connected, collaborative, and responsible. Transparency, which enables accountability and auditability, remains paramount.

Our customer, one of North America’s most extensive high-voltage transmission grids, holistically holds its asset infrastructure sustainability mantra to heart and mind.
Billions of dollars’ worth of investment decisions, pivotal to delivering reliable electric power and high-quality services, are top priority to our customer’s sustainability plan. The plan tackles diverse environmental, social, economic and governance challenges, as it continually strives to meet evolving regulatory and levels of service (LOS) requirements in the context of aging infrastructures and resource constraints. While driving sustainability efforts, our customer works hard to optimize CAPEX/OPEX spending and to satisfy the commitments and expectations of millions of customers.

How our customer ensures network sustainability, today, and decades from now

Especially with unpredictability being the only constant, our customer proactively anticipates and adapts with agility when trying to strike the ideal risk/cost/performance balance ratio for infrastructure resilience and sustainability. The company adopted an asset-centric approach to asset management, which considers the entire life cycle of each component of its extensive asset portfolio. It also addresses future strategic network requirements and desired LOS.

Managing one of the most extensive power transmission systems in North America

The DIREXYON Suite AIP solution automates the pulling of data from disparate systems, consolidating an extended asset registry of all relevant characteristics and conditions. Asset hierarchies are built to account for cross-asset interdependencies and functional analysis. Degradation models, leveraging a stochastic approach, are built for each asset type along with a risk/consequence-of-failure matrix. This enables our customers to model asset interrelationships, while integrating risk models, asset degradation models, and custom KPIs for each asset category and network segment. DIREXYON Suite AIP continually balances optimized levels of assumed risk and resource constraints/investments.

Asset Investment Planning for Utilities

Integrating best practices in digital transformation

DIREXYON Suite AIP fuels digitalization of asset management knowledge and associated decision policies. It leverages user-friendly, drag & drop decision trees in large simulations or in complex, daily decision-making.

Using DIREXYON Suite AIP, our customer was able to offset a high workforce turnover rate, due to the Baby Boomer retirement cycle. The digitalization of knowledge and decision-making processes ensure subject matter expertise is retained and properly captured. From there, the data can be modelled, optimized, formalized, and disseminated.

Performing rapid & accurate scenario evaluations via outcome modelling

DIREXYON Suite AIP provides a collaborative and centralized environment for asset management experts to generate the best predictive analysis scenarios. In doing so, stakeholders can formalize AIP decision policies to achieve resilient and sustainable outcomes for the entire portfolio life cycle.
Our customer leveraged the power of DIREXYON Suite AIP to forecast mid- and long-term LOS rapidly and accurately under various asset management policies. The best “what-if” scenario outcomes were selected to support decision-making and to justify investments. The solution facilitated discussions among internal and external stakeholders to identify the best trade-offs between cost and performance.

Other recognized DIREXYON Suite benefits

Our customer regards DIREXYON Suite as a proven, strategic decision analytics tool for network reliability, cost efficiency, optimized risk management, and governance.
The solution offers:
  • Data clarity & transparency: Experts obtain a clear picture on the relationship between asset management policies. The solution offers an audit trail with initial data, calculations, and interventions.
  • Modelling capability for accurate forecasting: It manages and models asset interrelationships, while integrating risk models, asset degradation models, and custom KPIs for each asset category.
  • Visual decision-trees to facilitate testing of scenarios & strategies: Digitalization of knowledgebase and decision policies through user-friendly, drag & drop decision-trees ensures retention of subject matter expertise. This enables rapid creation of what-if scenarios of the entire or partial network. The solution also incorporates sophisticated work synchronization rules to produce optimized work bundling on upcoming projects.
  • Results and Business Intelligence (BI) analysis: Results can be analyzed and aggregated at any level of granularity and on various metrics (ex.: cost, LOS, risk). Since the solution saves all simulation data, at every iteration, all calculations can be meticulously reconstructed and drilled into for garnering insight. The long-term effects on cost, level of services, and risk, can be visualized and evaluated under different strategies.
  • Rate case justification: When submitting annual rate adjustments, DIREXYON Suite provides detailed, data-driven, and auditable results. Outcome modelling clearly and graphically outlines the impact of additional funding (or lack of) on cost, performance, risk for the short- and long-term. It also indicates how all assets should be prioritized. In doing so, DIREXYON Suite simplifies rate justification, and in turn, regulatory approval.

Achievement of continual results

Success with targeted OPEX and CAPEX objectives is largely attributed to DIREXYON Suite AIP, which assisted our customer in achieving the best asset portfolio returns, while meeting desired LOS and mitigating risks.
Our customer’s digital transformation journey was further empowered through AIP decision analytics for quickly and easily:
  • Determining optimal life cycle intervention strategies (i.e., maintenance, repair/refurbish, replacement) and the best policies to prioritize maintenance and investments.
  • Generating strategic maintenance and investment plans to evaluate the impacts of short-term decisions on the long-term. It also adapts plans to aging asset considerations based on multiple factors (i.e., risk, return, LOS, budget, etc.).
  • Analyzing rapidly and accurately the consequences of CAPEX and OPEX budget increases or cuts on risk and KPIs over the short-, medium-, and long-term.
  • Developing conclusive scenarios to guide strategic decision-making.
  • Quantifying the strategy’s impact on user rates, which can then be transparently justified to regulatory authorities as per revenue requirements, long-term performance, and risks.
  • Documenting internal asset management expertise via clear and intuitive models.
  • Producing and automating reports so users can make short-, medium- and long-term projections for LOS and KPIs throughout the network, based on different what-if scenarios.

The promise

Our customer vows to continually optimize its timely asset management decisions, keeping close focus on its sustainability plan pillars − profitability, environmental acceptability, and favorable reception by local communities.
By relying upon DIREXYON Suite AIP for continual impact assessment of its investment decisions, the entire organization will always be well-geared with optimized decisions, benchmarks, and milestones for the full asset life cycle.

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