COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 23, 2021 – This summer, ARCOS® LLC, the market leader for utility and critical infrastructure resource-management solutions, will roll out its ARCOS Callout and Scheduling Suite for Minn.-based cooperative Great River Energy, a provider of wholesale electricity to 28 member-owned cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin, so the co-op can automatically identify available employees after business hours and direct them to restoration work.
“For years, Great River Energy has made manual calls for communications between our control center and field crews,” said Mark Peterson, system operations manager for Great River Energy. “Automating callouts will save time for our control center staff, so they can focus on their core responsibility, operations.”
With Great River Energy’s manual, after-hours callout process, control center operators search (one call at a time) for available employees. Once they reach a worker, they describe the problem and dispatch them. Staff manually input worker status through established work rules tied to seniority, hours worked, scheduled time off and proximity to a job site. A recent winter storm sped up the decision by Great River Energy to take the chore of manual callouts off the operators, so they could automatically launch calls with ARCOS and focus, instead, on front-end analysis linked to restoring substations, identifying transmission infrastructure damage, or starting peaking generation.
“Our operators have tools to pinpoint issues and analyze conditions, but it takes concentration and dedicated time to make the most of these tools,” added Peterson. “Every minute spent on a manual callout is a distraction that reduces situational awareness in the control center.”
Approximately 200 Great River Energy employees will be listed in the ARCOS System including control center workers who log in to launch and analyze callouts. According to Great River Energy, managers will measure the success of automated callout in two ways: First, the number of people reached through the system (versus a manual process) and the success rate for each call; second, how much time automation shaves off the callout process per event.