Wisconsin Public Services Improves Utility Restoration Using Outage Management System

Faced with frequent utility outage events coupled with manual dispatch processes, Wisconsin Public Service implemented Hexagon's mobile-enabled outage management system, improving restoration times, reducing radio traffic, and streamlining the entire dispatch operation.

The Challenge

Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) serves more than 400,000 utility customers and 300,000 natural gas customers in north eastern Wisconsin. Because the state of Wisconsin experiences frequent outages caused by high winds and snowy or icy weather, dispatchers and field crews at WPS often deal with outages caused by fallen trees or frozen power lines.

Previously, when a call came into its dispatch center, WPS personnel had to write their outage orders on paper forms based on relayed information from dispatchers. This cumbersome process also left field workers completely dependent on information they received from dispatchers, causing more radio traffic and less time for the dispatch center and field to address other issues at hand. WPS began searching for an outage management system that would help it restore power faster to its customers, while providing higher-quality outage information to its field crews and dispatch center.

The Solution

WPS selected an outage management system from Hexagon's Safety & Infrastructure division with added mobile capabilities to streamline its dispatch operations and provide more information to field crews.

Using mobile technology built into Hexagon's solution, field crews at WPS can see exactly what the dispatchers see in the office. Dispatchers know where an outage is, what may have caused the outage, and who and where the nearest person is to repair the affected area based on a map view of the electrical and street network.

For the dispatch control center, the technology reduces radio traffic and frees up dispatchers to handle other tasks during major outage events. It has also reduced restoration times for the utility provider’s customers.

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The response is quicker for us and it saves a lot of time in dispatching. We don’t have to sit and wait now for another job. It just comes to us instantaneously. It’s incredible, the response time.

Jeff Weller

Line Electrician Wisconsin Public Service