As France’s electricity transmission system operator (TSO), RTE controls the power flows in the country and constantly balances supply and demand. It has 8 control centers where communication and coordination between these centers are critical.
In this episode of State of Energy recorded at the 2023 LF Energy Summit in Paris, RTE Software Engineer Clément Bouvier talks about OperatorFabric (OpFab), one of LF Energy’s projects that is helping utility systems operators.
Highlights of this video interview:
- OpFab aims to help utility systems operators by centralizing real-time events in one place to avoid having multiple screens/software and to share information and events between control centers.
- In a utility control room, operators have several screens to monitor different applications on the grid. There was a need to aggregate notifications from all these applications into a single screen and allow the operator to act on them. That feature was successful and helpful. The project then added the messaging feature to facilitate interaction between different control centers.
- At its core, OpFab is a messaging software. One can get alerts from another application and send pre-formatted cards (messages) to other operators. One can see who sent the information, who has interacted, and who acted upon the instructions.
- It’s currently in production at RTE and is used for crisis management as well as tasks that need coordination.
- One of the events that led to the creation of OpFab was the winter of 2022 where there were a lot of incidents on the grid. The existing software was old, and the interface was outdated. They needed something for faster communication and faster processes. So, the product originated in RTE, but is now an open-source project in LF Energy.
- Currently, the project has 2 contributors. The main development is done at RTE. Alliander is helping to develop some features, one of which is related to maps to be able to see where the incidents are happening.
- Bouvier is working on making the code much more efficient, adding a new dashboard for internationals that wanted the dashboard, and developing new templates for use cases that are internal to RTE.
- What’s ahead for the project: There is discussion about adding an assistant for decision-making. When an operator receives an issue, there will be suggestions of possible solutions. Also, automating certain tasks and a log indicating what has been done.
This summary was written by Camille Gregory.