Spotlight on System Control

By Abby Moran 

With an always ready, always prepared mindset – Cloverland’s system controllers are experts at making data driven decisions keeping members reliably powered. Cloverland’s system controllers monitor production, flow and distribution of energy from the cooperative to a member’s home or business in real time. In simple terms, controllers manage day-to-day operations of Cloverland’s energy grid. On blue sky days and during the worst snow and ice storms, system controllers are the behind the scenes “brains” of the cooperative – coordinating and communicating key information to crews at all five Cloverland divisions.

Room with computers and two system controllers working the computers. System controllers, Josh Curtis (Left) and Jake Lewis working through a December 2021 storm.
System controllers, Josh Curtis (Left) and Jake Lewis working through a December 2021 storm.

Controllers use a variety of data driven software including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and outage management system (OMS) to manage daily operations. SCADA is a hardware and software system of data collection and transmission from field locations to the control center. SCADA processes data and helps identify system issues by showing inconsistencies at field locations. OMS is a mapping system for the cooperative’s electrical grid. OMS closely monitors the map for meters experiencing a power outage and uses data driven calculations to determine location and total meters impacted by the outage.

With more than 34,000 members and 43,000 meters across 4,000 miles of rural line - AMI, SCADA and OMS are essential in ensuring Cloverland’s system controllers make sound decisions quicky during a power outage.

Cloverland’s control center is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year by a six-person team. Each system controller brings a diverse range of skillsets to work each day, but the most valued skill is remaining level-headed and focused regardless of what occurs during their shift. During the most intense storms, controllers may manage a multiple day outage situation with a constant barrage of software alarms, radio correspondence, phone calls and emails. Even in hectic storm conditions, system controllers are composed and capable of handling any critical situation. Working as a team, they systematically dispatch all five divisions of Cloverland crews until all members have restored power.

“We have a strong team of system controllers,” Cloverland’s Director of Generation, Roger Line states. “They are essential to the cooperative’s daily operations and always prepared to handle storms and other outage situations.”

What really happens after you report a power outage?

  1. Cloverland member reports a power outage through SmartHub or by phone (800-562-4953).
  2. The outage ticket is logged in Cloverland’s outage management system (OMS).
  3. A system controller reviews the outage ticket and dispatches a crew. Any helpful outage information such as the location of a downed tree or line is relayed to crews.
  4. Crews work to restore power. Members can stay informed on Cloverland’s real-time outage map, or through timely updates on Facebook and if the outage affects 200 or more members.
  5. Outage restored!