Xcel Energy distributes electricity to 3.6 million customers and natural gas to 2 million customers in eight states through its four regulated utilities: Northern States Power Minnesota, Northern States Power Wisconsin, the Public Service Company of Colorado, and Southwestern Public Service (SPS).
Xcel Energy embarked on a long-term strategic initiative called Advanced Grid Intelligence and Security (AGIS) to improve power reliability, allow for better integration of distributed generation onto the electric grid, and provide customers with more information to control and track their energy use. Xcel Energy implemented a suite of technologies to enhance grid operability and customer experience, including Schneider Electric’s ADMS system.
Xcel Energy needed to provide training for 12 key roles across four operating companies and five control rooms with six areas of responsibility. With variations in employee headcount, knowledge, and skill combined with a heavy reliance on unstructured on-the-job training for control room operators, they recognized the need to effectively equip their workforce to adopt new ADMS technology and processes.
To address this challenge, Xcel Energy partnered with Mosaic to develop and implement a training strategy that achieves two objectives:
Mosaic implemented a phased approach to training deployment that allowed employees to build their foundational knowledge and skills before moving on to the application of more complex tasks. Training content is modular so that, depending on the role, units can be combined to form a comprehensive curriculum.
During ADMS go-live, Mosaic provided on-site, over-the-shoulder control room support up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week during COVID. Mosaic industry experts could function as the one resource in the room to handle bug fixes and operator knowledge gaps and ensure user adoption and service reliability continuity.
Mosaic also partnered with Xcel Energy to construct a realistic system operations training room. The ADMS Operator Training Simulator (OTS) is a critical component of the training room, allowing operators and dispatchers to practice real-world scenarios in a zero-risk environment. We can recreate realistic operational use cases based on actual switch plans and outage events and build training scenarios. This allows operators to make mistakes in a safe environment, which provides vital learning opportunities.
Mosaic’s ADMS training development, delivery, and Distribution Control Center support contributed to the success of a four-year ADMS and AMI implementation. We continue to support Xcel Energy with training sustainment for the curriculum and OTS environment.