Facilitating Communication and Collaboration
The Substation Best Practices Consortium is a community of industry professionals led by a Utility Steering Group for exchanging ideas and sharing innovative and leading edge practices across the industry.
It brings together the leading global electric utilities to solve common industry problems and understand how to achieve superior business outcomes.
The program promotes a web of working and networking channels between members to support ongoing sharing of data, information, technology and practices.
Background of the Consortium
In 2013, UMS Group was engaged by PG&E to conduct an industry study on Substation Inspection practices. The intent behind the study was to understand the opportunities that existed for more efficient and effective inspections in order to drive change in practices at the utility. The results of the study were compelling enough that UMS Group was further engaged to facilitate a two-day forum in which the participants were brought together to share their practices and discuss issues related to driving performance improvement.
The following year, UMS Group performed a similar effort around circuit breaker and power transformer maintenance. At the conclusion of the forum for this study, several of the other utilities, who had participated in both studies, expressed a desire to form an ongoing group focused on sharing around Substation Maintenance, Construction, and Asset Management. This resulted in the establishment of what is now known as the Substation Best Practices Consortium.
Substation Best Practices Conference
Annual Conference: October 16 – 18, 2023 | Newark, New Jersey
Welcome Reception on October 15
The Substation Best Practices Consortium Conference is the cornerstone of our program. This is where sharing and collaboration are at its best. During the conference the members will select follow-up activities or the rest of the year including the identification of three topics be included in a more detailed study to be part of the program report.
- Touchless Substation/Wireless Sensors
- Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
- Drones and Other Robotics
- Automating Decision Support
- Using Data to Identify Risks
- BI Platforms
- Prescriptive Analytics
- Risk Management
- Precision Maintenance Procedures
- Asset Replacement Strategies
- Labor Management/O&M Cost Reduction/Productivity Management
- Managing Capital Efficiently
- Skills Required for the Digital Future
- Measuring and Improving Training Effectiveness
- Role/Responsibility Split
- Ownership of Risk
- Decision-making Process
Program Components of Our Yearly Cycle:
The Substation Best Practices Consortium (SBPC) is a community of industry professionals led by a Utility Steering Group for exchanging ideas and sharing innovative and leading edge practices across the industry.
The program has been operating for now 10 years, bringing together the leading American electric utilities to solve common industry problems and understand how to achieve superior business outcomes.
If you’d like to know more or see a copy of the upcoming webinar schedule, click here.
- Maturity Model Development: Continued development of the Substation maturity model, modeled after leading competency models used in several industry frameworks such as ISO 55000 (Asset Management), and IWRMC (wildfire risk mitigation consortium).
- Best Practice Interest Groups: Groups convened on a periodic basis to share best practices around key use-cases faced by the industry such as: Touchless Substations, SF6 Breakers, Maturity Model Development and Best Practice Sharing.
- Benchmarking and Surveys: Annual Benchmarks covering: O&M Cost per Asset, Asset Performance, Maintenance Hrs by Type, Staffing Analysis, Asset Age analysis, etc. Topics and surveys are created and modeled withing the participants.
– Breaker Deep Dive in Development
- Technology Leaderboard: Utility-driven assessments of technologies employed, containing several elements that highlight: Available technologies, Relative ranking by use-case, Detailed usage by sup-process and TechTruth Talks.
- News & Research Web Portal updated and curated with the latest substation related news, academic research, new technologies, and xxx from utilities around the world.
In addition, we have also have the ability to facilitate Optional Opt-In Projects: Projects can include Detailed research and reports, Joint development of technology products and platforms, and new technology/ tool evaluation.
2023 Topic Overview
We have been working with the program Sponsoring Members to develop the prioritized topics for this year’s cycle and conference:
Asset and Risk Management:
1. More immediately supports calls for Digitalization of the business
2. Better addresses key risks in the business
3. Supports the push by many utilities for “Touchless” strategies, to reduce / eliminate field work
Workforce Enablement Leaderboard
1. Workforce mobility solutions
2. Work planning, scheduling, and productivity optimization
3. New workforce skills, training, recruiting, incentives / motivation, etc.
Specific Topics will include (these were results from polling of webinar participants/wider population then just SG Members):
- New Sensor Technology
- Asset Failure for Main Substation Equipment
- Evaluation and Investment for Maintenance Projects
- Aerial Inspections
- Offshore Substations
- Asset Risk Management
- Regional Transmission Planning
- Decarbonization – Climate Change
- Workforce Management – Retention and Attraction of Employees
The Substation Best Practices Consortium’s objective is to build a “community” of industry professionals with similar interests exchanging ideas and working together to share innovative and leading-edge practices from across the electric utility industry.
UMS Group will serve in a coordination and facilitation role for the collaborative, including administering the program, conducting on-site interviews with members, performing analysis and development of collaborative deliverables, facilitating collaborative gatherings, and providing support to utility-led community working groups.
In addition, a Steering Group made up of member representatives will provide oversight and guidance for the program and will ensure that the collaborative provides quality and value to its members.
A Leader in Driving Best Practice
- There is a pressing need for meaningful best practice sharing across utilities today. This program is led by knowledgeable leaders among the best North American utilities and facilitated by UMS Group’s operational experts.
- Together, we have crafted a program that is focused on how top performers are achieving superior outcomes, and the underlying enablers in areas such as technology, people (training, safety, and productivity), innovation, regulation, and execution.
The Substation Best Practices Consortium strives to bring utilities together that can work to solve common industry problems and understand how to achieve superior business outcomes through technology, analysis, people (training, safety, and productivity), innovation, and execution.
Networking and Information Sharing
A key benefit to program participation is the ability to leverage the experience and knowledge of our utility subject matter experts
Industry Practice Sharing
Industry benchmarking is a significant component of the model, allowing participants to stay informed of the latest developments and issues in the industry
Collaborative Deep Dive Projects
Collaborative projects bring participating utilities together to work across all phases of the deep dives project from study ideas creation to submission of final report and results review
Portal and Electronic Library
Knowledge Management. The Substation Best Practices Consortium supports the exchange and management of experience and data via secure, effective program tools:
• Reports Database – Reports library, advisories, and alerts, lessons learned
• Metrics and Analytics – Metrics database, reports, peer benchmarking
• Surveys – Formal, member-wide questions and responses
Program Web Portal
The Members-Only Web Portal is available to participants,
providing access to:
- Industry Research & Analysis
– Annual Risk Mitigation Plans
– Academic Research
– Case Studies
– Interesting and Topical Articles from Respected News Sources
– All Conference Presentations
– Public Data from Utilities & Regulators, such as Risk Maps
– Regulatory Frameworks and Approaches
- A Secure Confidentiality Hub – participants can share documents, insights, feedback, etc. in a secure environment.
- Program Calendars – provides up-to-date information regarding meetings, webinars, etc.
Facts & Figures
- Years of Service – 10 years
- Steering Group Members – 5 including AES, Evergy, PG&E, PSE&G, and SCE
- Number of Participants – 30 annually
- Number of Participants at Conference – 50 to 60
Substation Best Practices Consortium User Community
THE ANSWER LIES IN COLLABORATION – in a forum of like-minded organizations and people banded together to share knowledge and learn from one another and foster peer relationships.
The group provides many ways for people to get together before, during, and after collaborative activities for continued knowledge sharing.
Substation Best Practices Consortium Tear Sheet
“Anytime you can get representatives from various utilities to engage in discussion around process, productivity initiatives, innovations, and impacts to the business, it’s a plus.”
“We attended the Substation Best Practices Consortium for the first time this past year. For the two of us, this was the one of the best conferences we have attended in our combined 70 years of attending events. We were very impressed with the overall content and open sharing of information!”
Learn more about the Substation Best Practices Consortium
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