Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ABB supports Ameren Illinois grid modernisation programme

Steve Rogerson
February 5, 2019

Ameren Illinois’ multi-million dollar modernisation of the energy delivery infrastructure across its service territory in Illinois is being supported by software from Swedish technology company ABB.
ABB has won an order to supply its Ability Ellipse asset performance management (APM) software so the energy company can better predict and prevent the failure of mission-critical equipment that delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers.
Electric utilities have traditionally carried out regularly scheduled check-ups to maintain their grid infrastructure. While these check-ups can detect obvious or crisis-level issues, they may not predict conditions that could lead to possible failures down the line.
The Ability Ellipse, on the other hand, offers a prescriptive approach to maintenance. It uses sensors, data and analytics to assess constantly the real-time condition of assets, determine when they might need repair or replacement, and alert the stakeholders. This allows utilities to prioritise short- and long-term maintenance needs and drive productivity, safety and return on investment from critical grid assets.
"Utilities rely heavily on their power networks to deliver electricity to their customers safely, reliably and economically," said Massimo Danieli, head of ABB’s grid automation business. "We are pleased to expand our long-standing relationship with Ameren Illinois to support their strategic maintenance transformation with ABB Ability Ellipse APM. ABB continues to strengthen its position as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid."
Ameren Illinois has deployed ABB hardware, software and service in a relationship spanning more than three decades. Currently, Ameren Illinois deploys ABB power transformers, as well as ABB Ability software such as Ability Network Manager scada and ADMS (advanced distribution management system), Ability Velocity Suite, Ability Promod and Ability distributed control systems.
"We are investing significant resources to modernise the grid, improve reliability and deliver value for our customers," said Ron Pate, senior vice president at Ameren Illinois. “ABB Ability Ellipse APM will help ensure the long-term operation of our strategic grid assets."
A subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren, Ameren Illinois is a regulated electric and gas delivery company. With a service territory comprising about three-quarters of the state, it delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers. Its complex delivery system features 7200km of transmission lines and 74,000km of distribution lines.
ABB specialises in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure globally. With a history of more than 130 years, ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.