ARCOS' Software to Help Electric Utility Expedite Service Restoration

ARCOS LLC today announced it has started the process of implementing its ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite to help Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) expedite electric service restoration, focus on safety and reduce the utility’s System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), which is the total annual duration of outage interruptions per customer.

“The ARCOS software will automatically find and contact our employees, said Dan Swingle, vice president of System Operations for NOVEC. “We’re hoping that ARCOS will reduce our service restoration times, which will also help us meet our SAIDI goal. Instead of spending their valuable time on the phone, our system operators will be able to activate ARCOS with only a few clicks and then focus on critical tasks such as  high-voltage switching or coordinating restoration work with service technicians in the field.”

NOVEC has been using a labor-intensive process to monitor minimum callout requirements for approximately 215 union employees. Through its partnership with ARCOS, it expects to reduce the amount of staff time it takes to initiate callouts and track responses. According to Swingle, NOVEC administrators, on average, spend an hour per day documenting callouts; sometimes that climbs to three or four hours during a busy event.

“We’ve also had major events that required operators to spend 9 to 10 hours making callouts, which diverted their focus from their primary job – restoring power to NOVEC customers,” added Swingle.

With ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling Suite, operators and staff can concentrate solely on service and safety, instead of tallying callout requirements and resolving complaints, which can easily require an hour per incident. Through automation of the crew assembly and deployment process, NOVEC expects to improve overall outage response and, thereby, reduce service restoration times, while maintaining its high employee safety standards. The data provided by the ARCOS system will also enable final event reports to be produced quickly and accurately. In addition to its union workforce, NOVEC plans to add another 107 employees to the ARCOS system. This will enable system operators to reach all or specific groups of employees with alerts, news or requests for assistance.

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