Grand Junction-based electric co-op Grand Valley Power utilizes an outage management system to track and log power outages on its distribution system. In 2021, the co-op’s System Average Interruption Duration Index was under 45 minutes. SAIDI measures the total number of minutes a consumer experienced a power outage over the course of a year.
GVP started exploring the capabilities of data mining and mapping technology to continue the trend of keeping outages at a minimum. Geographic information systems analyst Ethan Schaecher found that there was a flaw in the software system when attempting to track outage causes, history, date, time and equipment affected across GVP’s service territory. When the outage ends, it disappears from the map and no location information is saved.
Schaecher started looking through outage history records and found there was enough data to tie the outages back to GVP’s service map. Using data mining, Ethan re-plotted nearly 2,700 outages spanning 10 years. He mapped the outages as points on a map and also categorized the data into 12 different outage causes, such as trees. Taking this a step further, he then compared the cause of the outage to the time it occurred using a data clock.
This innovative GIS and mapping methodology Schaecher developed helps GVP visualize patterns in time and space and will help solve complex outage problems and increase reliability to its members.