The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) announced the formation of a new OGC Energy & Utilities Domain Working Group (E&U DWG) to address geospatial interoperability challenges in the international energy and utility domains.
Communicating geospatial information is a critical requirement all along the diverse, complex and dynamic value chains related to energy and utilities. Such communication involves many different systems with different owners and purposes, and interoperation between these systems requires that they implement open standard data encodings and software interfaces. Many of these standards are now available to developers, but much work remains to develop profiles and application schemas based on the standards, and to harmonize the geospatial aspects of standards that have been developed by different standards organizations. This is the task of the E&U DWG.
Many of the OGC’s standards activities – sensor webs, weather, indoor/outdoor location integration, 3D city models, location services, data fusion and others – have significance in the energy and utilities domain. Also, because energy and utilities infrastructure is embedded in our built and natural environments, there is a societal requirement for E&U businesses to communicate geospatial information with actors in domains such as environmental management, urban planning, and emergency response. The OGC provides a forum for such cross-community communication and standards coordination.
The E&U DWG’s mission is broad ranging, with focus intentionally open to advance interoperability efforts among all market participants in the Energy and Utilities ecosystem. The group’s efforts to date, driven by needs identified by diverse industry players, have included; harmonization of geospatial standards related to the Smart Grid; defining gaps, overlaps and collaboration opportunities across standards development organizations; fostering communication of advancements, successes and challenges across the international community; and defining approaches for the prioritization of industry use cases.
“Digital technology plays an increasing role in the management of all utility networks, including not only electric power grids but also water, sewer, thermal (as in district heating), and oil, gas & chemicals pipeline networks. The group’s efforts will focus not only on data sharing in traditional grid operations, but also standards to communicate in real time the status of vast numbers of highly variable supply assets (wind, solar, e-vehicle batteries, etc.) that now fall within the increasingly complex generation umbrella,” explained Renee Bogle Hughes, Synaptitude Consulting, chair of the E&U DWG. “The OGC E&U DWG has a mandate to investigate these domains, look at individual use cases, introduce these into the scenarios of testbeds, pilot projects and interoperability experiments, and work with the OGC Technical Committee and with other SDOs to resolve geospatial interoperability issues.”