IoT has impacted nearly every industry, enabling greater efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Utilities, however, have been slow to warm to the trend. Yet, the implications of IoT are powerful. Financially, the advantages for companies that successfully install smart energy grids could total $157 billion, according to a Business Intelligence report titled “IoT For Utilities: Smart Water, Gas & Electric Utilities Coming Soon.”
Brown and Caldwell, an environmental engineering and construction firm, have developed an IoT-enabled solution specifically for utilities. Called BC Blue, the smart utility approach is designed to help utilities more efficiently manage water, wastewater, and stormwater.
“BC Blue helps utilities efficiently align operations and systems to better collect and understand data for long-term capital investment and innovation planning while reducing operator training time,” says Kevin Stively, smart utility services leader, Brown and Caldwell.
BC Blue equips staff with tools, interfaces, and artificial intelligence-enhanced analytics for a better, clearer view of utility operations. It supports collection of data, system wide, bridging all facets of a utility business—it brings together engineering, operations, water quality, and management. This information can be used to make better, more informed decisions faster.
Subsequent benefits include real-time contaminant detection and improved water quality, enhanced asset monitoring for infrastructure and equipment replacement, predictive emergency response, improved customer service, and resource conservation.
Some utilities are already benefitting from BC Blue:
The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District is using BC Blue in the implementation of its $2 million SCADA human-machine interface replacement project to support the District over the next 25 years. Connecting the District’s three water treatment plants, multiple pump stations, reservoirs, and wells, BC Blue is combining AMI and SCADA data to reduce water loss and consumption as well as aiding overall effective utility management.
SUEZ, one of the nation’s largest investor-owned utility organizations, is partnering with Brown and Caldwell to develop a state-of-the-art smart SCADA process throughout its award-winning 1,000 square mile SCADA network. The BC Blue-inspired method will establish an integrated, intuitive SCADA system harnessing data and analytics for increased utility performance and security while reducing operator training time.
Powered with this approach, SUEZ will implement smart SCADA upgrades and renewals throughout its 15 North American utility operations, ensuring alignment with the firm’s overarching smart utility vision. A first for an investor-owned utility, the large-scale integration of SUEZ’ SCADA systems encompasses more than two dozen systems, each operated independently from one another.