Annual Report 2013

Information Technology, Automation and Telecommunications

The electric power industry nowadays is one of the most complex and developed industries as far as the IT-solutions are concerned. The majority of processes associated with the grid company’s core operations are automated. Real-time process control over the Company’s distribution grids is carried out with the help of automated systems, which allow the Company to significantly increase the efficiency of control, thus reducing the time needed to eliminate technological failures and increase reliability of power supply for the consumers.

In 2012, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the IDGC of Centre Information Technology, Automation, and Telecommunications Strategy through 2016, and has defined the primary objective of this strategy as providing effective information technology and telecommunications tools (ICT) to support the Company’s business operations.

In order to implement the strategy, the Company has developed a plan of measures, which is updated on an annual basis. This plan includes major information technology and telecommunications development projects. IDGC of Centre took this plan of measures into account while furthering its projects aimed at developing information technology and automating business processes.

AUTOMATED SYSTEMS OF PROCESS CONTROL AND REAL-TIME SUPERVISORY CONTROL

Real-time process control of the power grid complex is carried out with the help of the grid control centers (GCC), which operate in each branch of IDGC of Centre. GCC are equipped with all the software and hardware, information and technological systems necessary to control the process parameters of operation and the operational condition of the power grid facilities. This provides for an opportunity to promptly react to the changes in the process parameters of operation of the equipment and to take measures to prevent (eliminate) emergencies within the power grid complex in due time.

The activities of IDGC of Centre associated with the development of the automated systems of process control in 2013 were focused on the implementation of programs to increase observability and controllability of the distribution grid facilities and the Company’s Innovative Development Program for the future years.

As a result of the work carried out at IDGC of Centre, forty-two 110 kV substations, thirty-one 35 kV substations and two 10(6) kV distribution units were provided with remote process controls.

In 2013, the Company continued its work of replicating the DMS/OMS system (distribution management system/ outage management system) at 10 branches (except for the Belgorodenergo branch): operators of the GCC and 2 district dispatch control centers for the distribution zones of each of the 10 branches were provided with work stations.

The Company is planning to equip thirty-three 110 kV substations with remote controls in 2014. Furthermore, OMS/DMS should be started and commissioned at 10 GCC and 20 district dispatch control centers for the distribution zones in 2014.

Fiber optic communication lines with a total length of 768 km used to send technological information on all decisionmaking levels were constructed at the Company’s branches in 2013 within the framework of increasing observability and controllability of the distribution power grid complex. This was done in accordance with the approved programs of modernization and extension of systems of data collection and exchange at IDGC of Centre facilities. The technology is used to organize communication channels and transmit telemetric data from the controlled facilities to the GCC of the Company’s branches and the relevant dispatch control centers of JSC GC UES, necessary to control the operating conditions of the Unified Power System.

Despite the fact that the fiber optic communication lines are costly and require a rather long time of construction, they remain the most reliable solution with the highest capacity in comparison with the other technological solutions for organizing communication channels, thus being the first choice option as far as the main communication channels are concerned.

The work aimed at equipping substations with satellite communication was continued in 2013. As a rule, satellite channels are used as backup channels for communicating and transferring data to 35 and 110 kV substations.

Certain amount of work was carried out by the Company in the reporting year to upgrade and complete the provision of wireless equipment to the real-time process control divisions of the Voronezhenergo and Tverenergo branches (grid control centers – district dispatch control centers – substation – first responding crew), to install the digital dispatch wireless communication system using modern digital wireless equipment and to integrated it into the current feed system for transferring companies’ data. This system allows the Company to switch to a completely new level of control over the first responding and maintenance crews.

High frequency communication channels at IDGC of Centre branches were upgraded in 2013 by way of replacing analog equipment with digital. The Company’s branches own the most of the high frequency communication channels (around 98%).

Start-up and commissioning work is being carried out at eight branches of the Company (Belgorodenergo, Voronezhenergo, Kurskenergo, Kostromaenergo, Orelenergo, Lipetskenergo, Tambovenergo and Yarenergo) to organize the process of obtaining data from the meters installed at the IDGC of Centre facilities to the relevant Nforce software within the framework of implementing the program of prospective development of the power metering systems. By the end of 2014, after the work was completed and the contracts signed, readings from over 50,000 meters installed at the branches under the program of prospective development of the power metering systems 2013-2014 should be transmitted to the Nforce system, alongside with the readings of the meters installed under the programs of prospective development of the previous years.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The following measures were taken in 2013 under the Information Technology and Telecommunications Strategy.

Automation of business processes:

  • The SAP IS-U Power Transmission Service Management Subsystem was commissioned for commercial operation as far as the data exchange with the electric power retail market participants is concerned.
  • A project to further the automation of additional services rendered by the Company was implemented, which allowed the Company to increase the quality of services rendered.
  • A project to automate the process of planning the demand for goods and services on the basis of SAP was implemented.
  • A project to develop a unified catalog of information technology and telecommunication services was launched: an approach to dividing and naming the information technology and telecommunications services was developed, the dedicated structure and list of the services were defined, a template of the service description card was developed and the process of managing the catalog of services was finalized.
  • An Automated Corporate System of Statutory Document Control for preparing, collecting, updating, providing and storing quality management documents was developed and implemented.

IT-infrastructure:

  • A fail-safe system of access to the centralized resources from the Internet was installed.
  • The channel for exchanging Treasury extracts was secured by coding the mail with digital certificates.
  • The virtual platform’s hardware was upgraded: RAM of the physical servers was increased twofold up to 96 Gb/server, the disk system was also extended.
  • The Inventory automated corporate system of stock-taking equipment and software was commissioned for commercial operation. The system contains data on 45,000 computing devices.