Electricity provider ScottishPower has signed an £1.7m contract with ESRI (UK) for an enterprise-wide geographic information system (GIS).
More than 2,000 staff across ScottishPower’s north and south regions as well as third parties, such as local authorities, will be able to access map-based asset information via the web, using the ESRI (UK) Foundation GIS platform.
The software will help ScottishPower to manage its energy networks, comprising more than 60,000 miles of electricity network. The utility company supplies electricity to more than 4.3 million homes and businesses in Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales.
Using the network tracing feature in the GIS software, ScottishPower will be able to model the effects of a power outage and identify customers who may be affected by the interruption. The technology can also isolate circuits and provide a status report on electrical equipment such as a switch, fuse or link-box, so the utility compnay can identify the number of premises impacted by network changes.
In a statement, the companies claimed that the shift from a paper-based to an electronic system "will also significantly reduce distribution costs".
The software's new functions include records management, where streamlined editing and maintenance functions and the ability to manage electrical schematics will provide efficiency gains by reducing the need for paper and CAD systems.
Dave Clarke, spatial and mobile delivery manager at ScottishPower, said: "The introduction of the Foundation GIS based on the latest ESRI (UK) technology will help us manage all our assets more effectively while providing the whole organisation with easier access to enterprise-critical asset data. It will also support our drive for enhanced customer service and improved operational efficiency. We see GIS as central to our business as an open platform that can integrate with all our operational IT systems."
ESRI (UK) will migrate ScottishPower asset data from its legacy systems to one central database under a jointly defined quality assurance programme. The contract also includes design, configuration, implementation and training.
ESRI (UK)’s selection follows a competitive tender where all major suppliers of GIS to the UK utilities industry were considered.