Hydro Ottawa Limited Major Event: July 1, 2016
Prior to Major Event
1. Did the distributor have any prior warning that the Major Event would occur?
Weather forecasts indicated that thunderstorms were likely for the late afternoon and evening (70%). There was no indication from any forecast that the storms would be severe or damaging.
2. If the distributor did have prior warning, did the distributor arrange to have extra employees on duty or on standby prior to the Major Event beginning? If so, please give a brief description of arrangements.
No. Hydro Ottawa had a normal complement of on-shift personnel and an on-call roster of field technicians and management personnel. As there was no indication the storms would be severe or damaging, no extra staff were on duty or standby prior to the event.
3. If the distributor did have prior warning, did the distributor issue any media announcements to the public warning of possible outages resulting from the pending Major Event? If so, through what channels?
No media announcements were issued in advance of the storm event, as there was no forecast of severe or damaging weather.
4. Did the distributor train its staff on the response plans for a Major Event? If so, please give a brief description of the training process.
Hydro Ottawa has an established Emergency Response Plan and Organization. Formal training is completed annually according to Market Rules, and a weekly preparation meeting is held to refresh on-call management personnel.
5. Did the distributor have third party mutual assistance agreements in place prior to the Major Event? If so, who were the third parties (i.e., other distributors, private contractors)?
Yes, Hydro Ottawa is a member of the Hydro One Mutual Assistance Agreement with Ontario LDC's and is a member of the (US based) North Atlantic Mutual Aid Group. No additional third-party mutual aid assistance was required during this major event; however, third-party contractors were utilized for forestry, civil and lines work.
During the Major Event
1. Please explain why this event was considered by the distributor to be a Major Event.
This event was considered to be a Major Event Day based on the IEEE Standard 1366 method since the daily SAIDI exceeded the daily SAIDI threshold. This threshold is based on the daily SAIDI values for the past five years.
2. Was the IEEE Standard 1366 used to identify the scope of the Major Event? If not, why not?
Yes, the IEEE Standard 1366 was used to identify the scope of the Major Event.
3. Please identify the Cause of Interruption for the Major Event as per the table in section 126.96.36.199.5.
6 - Adverse Weather, 3 - Tree Contact, 4 - Lightning, 0 - Unknown/Other
4. Were there any declarations by government authorities, regulators or the grid operator of an emergency state of operation in relation to the Major Event?
No, but Hydro Ottawa did declare a Level 1 Emergency on July 1, 2016 due to the expected duration of outages.
5. When did the Major Event begin (date and time)?
The major event began on July 1, 2016 at 6:55pm.
6. What percentage of on-call distributor staff was available at the start of the Major Event and utilized during the Major Event?
All on-call staff were available. In addition, Hydro Ottawa utilized its 24/7 operations staff during the restoration, as well as additional staff that were called in outside of the normal on-call roster.
7. Did the distributor issue any estimated times of restoration (ETR) to the public during the Major Event? If so, through what channels?
Yes, Hydro Ottawa issued estimated times of restoration (ETR) through the outage map on our website (hydroottawa.com) and through our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
8. If the distributor did issue ETRs, at what date and time did the distributor issue its first ETR to the public?
Hydro Ottawa issued its first ETR to the public on July 1, 2016 at 7:04pm.
9. Did the distributor issue any updated ETRs to the public? If so, how many and at what dates and times were they issued?
Channels utilized to provide ETR updates were the outage map on our website and Twitter. We tweeted 115 posts. Our outage map is refreshed every 15 minutes with the most up-to-date information, including revised ETRs and new outages.
10. Did the distributor inform customers about the options for contacting the distributor to receive more details about outage/restoration efforts? If so, please describe how this was achieved.
Yes, we informed customers through our social media accounts. We refer them to our outage map, which is available through their mobile devices, and our interactive voice response (IVR) power outage line, where they can hear a recording with a high level summary of the outage and/or request to speak to a live agent for more details if necessary.
11. Did the distributor issue press releases, hold press conferences or send information to customers through social media notifications? If so, how many times did the distributor issue press releases, hold press conferences or send information to customers through social media notifications? What was the general content of this information?
Hydro Ottawa issued a news release at midnight via the newswire and posted it on our website and Twitter. Information released covered an update on our restoration effort, and our contact information to get more details.
12. What percentage of customer calls were dealt with by the distributor’s IVR system (if available) versus a live representative
80.88% of all calls were handled by our IVR and 19.12% were handled by representatives.
13. Did the distributor provide information about the Major Event on its website? If so, how many times during the Major Event was the website updated?
Yes, the outage map on our website includes information on power outages and it's updated every 15 minutes.
14. Was there any point in time when the website was inaccessible? If so, what percentage of the total outage time was the website inaccessible?
No, the website was completely accessible during the entire event. However, information on the outage map disappeared momentarily on July 2 between 12:01 a.m. and 12:15 a.m. due to a website error. This problem has since been fixed.
15. How many customers were interrupted during the Major Event? What percentage of the distributor’s total customer base did the interrupted customers represent?
32,934 customers were interrupted during the Major Event which represents 10% of Hydro Ottawa's total customer base.
16. How many hours did it take to restore 90% of the customers who were interrupted?
It took less than 2 hours to restore over 90% of affected customers.
17. Was any distributed generation used to supply load during the Major Event?
Not directly, all available DG did remain paralleled to the Hydro Ottawa distribution system.
18. Were there any outages associated with Loss of Supply during the Major Event? If so, please report on the duration and frequency of Loss of Supply outages.
There were no Loss of Supply outages during the Major Event.
19. In responding to the Major Event, did the distributor utilize assistance through a third party mutual assistance agreement?
No, not according to any formal Mutual Assistance Agreement, but we did use 3rd-party contractors for forestry, civil, and lines work.
20. Did the distributor run out of any needed equipment or materials during the Major Event? If so, please describe the shortages.
No material or equipment shortages were encountered.
After the Major Event
1. What steps, if any, are being taken to be prepared for or mitigate such Major Events in the future (i.e., staff training, process improvements, system upgrades)?
A routine debrief meeting was held with Hydro Ottawa staff to review what worked well and identify opportunities for improvement. A weekly on-call staff preparation meeting/training session was identified to be beneficial, and will be a continued focus going forward. During significant events, additional staff are called in to support on-call crews with restoration and repair efforts. As a result of this event, expansion of the on-call roster during specific time periods (e.g. summer storm season, long weekends, etc.), and with additional pools of expertise (e.g. addition of forestry contractor on-call ) is being assessed.
2. What lessons did the distributor learn in responding to the Major Event that will be useful in responding to the next Major Event?
See Question #1
3. Did the distributor survey its customers after the Major Event to determine the customers' opinions of how effective the distributor was in responding to the Major Event? If so, please describe the results.