Multi-year program to optimise and implement a new control centre model, and transition critical OT and communications infrastructure for a state-owned electricity network.

Snapshot

The state-owned electricity network needed to develop a comprehensive Integrated Operations strategy, implementation plan and Business Case to enhance technical and operational resilience in the control centre model via design and construction of two new state-of-the–art  control facilities (primary and backup), as well as decentralisation of SCADA and critical communications infrastructure to Tier 3 data centres. The three-year program of work will continue until 2020 and has moved through several successful phases since 2015 through transition scoping and planning, to execution which is currently underway.

Engaging with our client over a number of years had built trust and the confidence to work hand in hand on this business-critical project. Our experiences and insights into the people / process, technology and facility considerations of executing an Integrated Operations strategy, a shared understanding of the risk mitigation and operational improvement objectives has been vital to obtaining the necessary traction throughout the organisation, and build the momentum needed to deliver this complex program of work in an aggressive (but safe) timeframe.

Background

Legacy control centre sites, combined with the need to better secure core technology and critical network communication infrastructure to ensure the continuity of power supply across the state had reached a critical priority. Our client needed to act to understand the underlying core business and operational resilience issues, develop and assess Integrated Operations remediation options, develop a supporting Business Case and manage the transition of the network operations function to the new Control Centre Model without disrupting power transmission and distribution.

Approach

Velrada drove a program to assess business resilience, identify facility, technology and people / process-centric options to deliver an improved end state, before scoping the complexity of implementing the control centre and technology transition program, and onto program management for full portfolio execution. We are now embedded with the client’s delivery team to drive the implementation of the required business outcomes and benefits. Whilst the focus is on the transition of the critical operational control technology and infrastructure, Velrada has also challenged the client to consider and adopt new, digitally enabled ways of working including a central integrated operations centre which uses video wall arrays presenting network condition and OT system driven data analytics to feel visualisations of key operating metrics which can drive operational improvements through enhanced decision support.

Delivery

Given the critical nature of the program, the client has ensured Velrada is represented on the key working teams and governance structures in place throughout the delivery framework. We are providing the Program director leadership, managing three highly interconnected streams of delivery accountability through a PMO for key functions related to Communications and Data Centre, and Facilities and ICT Technology, as well as providing expert guidance on the Organisational Change Management inputs to transition and analytics / solution development for the video wall visualisations and Network Diagram overview screens.

Velrada’s mission is to drive the outcome, oversee and assure the delivery of the transition of ‘Network Operations’ through the build of the new primary and backup control centres and the relocation of critical control systems hosting to new Tier-III data centres, and distributing critical SCADA and Protection communications infrastructure to a new decentralised node design.

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