Our Experience

American Electric Power (AEP) Network Model Management Project (T-NEXUS)

After an initial collaboration with EPRI, AEP selected PCItek, formerly Project Consultants, LLC, to provide consulting services to procure a Network Model Management (NMM) Solution. The first phase included:

  • Development of the NMM requirements specification and a presentation to upper management to obtain approval for the project.
  • Development of the RFP and follow on consulting to assist in the selection of the ultimate NMM vendor.

PCItek was then engaged to act as the liaison between the Vendor and AEP as well as provide all services to implement the network models for operations, planning and protection within the new NMM software. Additionally, we are providing all integration services and support for the final T-NEXUS solution to ensure the interfaces and standards are properly implemented for smooth system deployment.  This includes integration to the AEP SCADA/EMS (GE/Alstom), Planning (PSS/E), Protection (Aspen), Asset Management (IPS), GIS (ESRI) and Outage Scheduling (iTOA) systems.  Our RTO integration consists of working with ERCOT, PJM and SPP to provide the operational and planning model updates based on their requirements and timelines.

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ERCOT Nodal Integration Project

When Texas decided to implement a new Nodal system for the Wholesale Electricity Market, they selected CIM as the cornerstone of their integration framework.  ERCOT engaged with Project Consultants, now PCItek, to help the ERCOT Network Model Group:

  • Design and develop the new Nodal Model and;
  • Implement a Network Model Manager that would provide the foundation for the integration and exchange of data between 13 different systems.

The engagement included definition of all the model extensions and the development of model and message profiles for the 13 systems.  The result was the addition of 300 classes and 1000 attributes to the CIM model. This effort provided a major contribution to the maturity of the CIM standard.  At the present time, 95% of all extensions have been accepted and added to the standard.  Deliverables of the engagement included:

  • 1

    Definition of CIM extensions achieved by working with the ERCOT business units and the network model group.

  • 2

    Implementation of the modeling required to develop and extend the ERCOT semantic model (ETX CIM).

  • 3

    Training in the CIM, profile definition, and the use of the NMM for ERCOT and their Market Participants.

Procurement Consultant for an EMS for COES-SINAC

Under contract with COES, Project Consultants, now PCItek, aided in the procurement and delivery of an EMS.  This included:

  • Development of the RFP (with assistance from the COES team),
  • Identification of selection criteria and scoring development,
  • Consulting throughout the delivery to ensure the EMS procurement and delivery went smoothly and came in on time and budget.
  • Identify the vendors to be invited to bid
  • Create a comparative analysis report of the RFP responses for the selection committee
  • Facilitate the final selection
  • After award, continue to work with the vendor to ensure the EMS was delivered on schedule and within budget and that all integration activities were completed as designed.

Electric Power Research Institute – Network Model Management (NMM) Projects

Working with EPRI on several NMM initiatives including one currently under contract at Ameren.  These initiatives all include the development of customized NMM requirements for the individual entity and then follow-on work to develop the RFI/RFP and assist with the selection and implementation of the systems.

  • Design and develop the new Nodal Model and;
  • Implement a Network Model Manager that would provide the foundation for the integration and exchange of data between 13 different systems.

American Electric Power (AEP) gridSMART® Project

AEP embarked on a major multi-year plan to transform their existing operations using a structured and disciplined approach based on the CIM and the IEC 61968-100 architecture. Phase 1 began in 2010 and involved developing and testing a true retail market that provided retail consumers the means by which they could use real-time pricing to help manage their energy use. The gridSMART project required a level of integration between AEP’s existing business systems, new smart grid systems for AMI, and the consumer systems that would not be feasible to implement using traditional SOA methods involving ESB message transformations or point-to-point web service application integration methods.

AEP began with a good understanding of the CIM and a set of use cases based on the work of the IEC committees and the Open Smart Grid Users Group (OSGug).  Then, in 2010 we began the work to help them finish the modeling and design for CIM compliance. A presentation on their gridSMART project can be found on the CIM Users Group web site for the Milan 2010 meeting.

We worked with AEP to meet their aggressive project schedules. We first worked to help them understand the CIM with training programs and workshops that resulted in substantial progress in the modeling, use case and message definition process. AEP has since remained engaged as the interfaces and interoperability testing for each system is further defined. Use cases and model extensions that were identified during the project were taken to the standards committees and have been used to make significant improvements in the standards based on real-world experiences.

The scope of the multi-year project encompassed the entire enterprise including:

Metering Systems

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Meter Data Management System


Customer Information & Billing System


Outage Management System


Demand Response/Real Time Pricing System


Work Management System


CIM File Converter for COES in South America

Project Consultants, now PCItek, delivered a CIM file converter to COES-SINAC, the national transmission system operator in Peru. This company uses a third-party power system modeling tool and needed to have this file converted into a CIM format so that they could import these models into their EMS. This file converter was delivered and accepted in 2009. This project, and the project proposed herein, took advantage of our extensive experience with CIM to enable an on-time and on-budget file converter.