Achieving more for less

Electricity North West Limited is an electricity distribution company located in the north west of England, United Kingdom. To ensure they continued to provide best value to their 2.4 million customers, Electricity North West went to tender for an Asset Investment Planning (AIP) solution to support decision making for their network assets. This includes 57,000km of power lines, 128,000+ poles and towers and 88,000+ of switchgear and transformers.

Arcadis Gen’s Enterprise Decision Analytics (EDA) solution was chosen to help Electricity North West meet expected levels of service, whilst making certain investment in the network is as efficient as possible.

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April Hutchen

Sales Executive - UTILITIES

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Clear link between projects and interventions

To help Electricity North West achieve their environmental, network performance, customer service and efficiency targets, Gen deployed EDA as their next generation Asset Investment Planning solution.

We worked collaboratively to configure the GB Common Network Asset Indices Methodology (CNAIM)* and build a suite of asset optimization models to predict risk across the four defined categories of safety, financial, network performance and environment.

These models optimize capital, operational and maintenance interventions to ensure the right one is chosen at the right time. Among the data used to inform these decisions are cost data, works management data, telemetry data and visual inspection data.

With this, Electricity North West Limited can compare asset investment decisions through what-if scenario modelling. These scenarios are created and run by the Electricity North West team, ensuring the team can quickly understand the impact of different investment scenarios against business objectives and the total risk profile.

These scenarios can likewise be easily compared and analyzed against each other, through simple user interfaces (such as dashboards) with drill down capabilities, and provide a clear link between projects and asset level interventions. All information and changes are tracked and auditable, including updates to scenarios, constraints and data.

EDA was delivered in a phased approach with the Electricity North West team actively involved in configuring, populating and testing some of the models. The approach deployed, with both formal training courses and ‘on the job’ training, ensured the team quickly gained the desired skills to utilize EDA to create, run and make changes to their models as needed – even without expert support from Gen.

 

Key benefits

  • Host the GB regulatory framework, Common Network Asset Indices Methodology (CNAIM)

  • Enable a faster, data-driven approach for asset decision making, enabling comparison across all 25 CNAIM asset classes

  • Ensure that the business makes the right investment for the right assets, at the right times

  • Utilize Whole Life Cost analysis to optimize potential investments, ensuring Electricity North West provides best value for customers and stakeholders, whilst meeting regulatory commitments

  • Provide what-if scenario modelling capabilities to ensure the business can quickly evaluate the impact of different decisions, constraints and budgets

  • Provide the ability to ‘bundle’ investment decisions into logical programs of work – ensuring additional efficiencies are identified and resources are maximized

  • Hold information centrally within a single system for improved planning, reporting and regulatory submissions

  • Allow different levels of users to access the system – from power users to ‘view’ only

  • Optimize spend and budgets across network assets for both OPEX and CAPEX

*The Common Network Asset Indices Methodology (CNAIM) has been developed by the Great Britain Electricity Distribution Network Operators and provides a common framework of definitions, principles and calculation methodologies, adopted across all GB Distribution Network Operators, for the assessment, forecasting and regulatory reporting of Asset Risk.

 

We needed to deliver efficient asset investment plans to ensure we get the best value from our assets, which in turn keeps our costs lower for customers. At the same time, we needed to minimize risk. One of our key values is innovation, which includes how we approach problems to find new solutions. This project is an innovative solution to help us in our long-term strategic decision making.”

Robert Wells, Electricity North West’s Asset Management Modeling Manager

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