Dynamic Ratings Partnering with the NRECA
Dynamic Ratings Partnering with the NRECA

Electricity cooperatives, or co-ops, face several challenges in today’s rapidly evolving energy landscape. While each cooperative may encounter unique circumstances based on its location, size, and customer base, keeping up with rapid technological advancements in the energy sector, such as smart grid technologies, energy storage solutions, and renewable energy integration, can be challenging, often requiring significant investment in infrastructure, grid modernization, and workforce training.

By partnering with The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (or NRECA), Dynamic Ratings is better able to showcase our own values, as partnership within this co-op community helps us both expand our own knowledge base and share our expertise to help foster continuous community improvement.

Co-ops support the continued integration of industry experts into the development of reliability standards, while also advocating for continued improvement in the government’s information-sharing efforts with the industry as a way of helping protect electric utility systems.

Addressing Industry Challenges

Partnering with this organization also uniquely positions Dynamic Ratings to help in addressing the challenges facing the utilities industry, as we share a number of the NRECA’s top concerns.

The NRECA supports the development and sustainability of electric cooperatives as community-owned, member-driven organizations. This includes providing guidance on governance and management practices, facilitating cooperative networking and collaboration, and promoting the cooperative business model as a tool for community empowerment and economic development.

The NRECA provides a wide range of services and resources to its member cooperatives, including training programs, technical assistance, and educational resources. These services help electric cooperatives enhance their operations, improve efficiency, and better serve their communities.

The major hurdle the NRECA currently faces is grid stability, as a number of factors challenge the existing infrastructure.

Electric cooperatives serve many rural and remote areas that are susceptible to extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and ice storms. These events can cause widespread power outages and damage to grid infrastructure, compromising grid stability and resilience.

Many parts of the electric grid infrastructure, including transmission lines, substations, and distribution systems, are aging and in need of upgrades or replacement. Deferred maintenance and inadequate investment in grid modernization can lead to reliability issues and vulnerabilities that impact grid stability.

Improving grid stability helps keep the lights on
Solar Panels Impact on Power Grid

The proliferation of distributed energy resources (DERs) such as rooftop solar panels, energy storage systems, and electric vehicles presents both opportunities and challenges for grid stability. While DERs can enhance grid flexibility and resilience, their integration into the grid must be managed carefully to avoid unintended consequences such as voltage fluctuations and grid congestion.

Dynamic Ratings believes strongly in combating grid instability, and strives to share best practices learned from 20 years of serving large investor-owned utilities. As cooperatives across the country are faced with increasing service requirements from data centers, it is becoming increasingly important to implement new strategies to manage their asset risks, and Dynamic Ratings is a trusted partner in delivering better asset management across the board.

This partnership allows us to share technology and innovation that addresses the challenges the utility industry is facing in the renewable energy sector, positioning our products as a way of providing resourceful solutions to offer safety, reliability, and security.

For small co-ops and public companies that can’t address the challenges alone, Dynamic Ratings demonstrates why asset management requires a solution package that includes Breaker Monitoring, Lifestream Support, Bushings Monitoring, and a Full Service Team, which helps smaller utilities providers to minimize asset downtime.

Through rapid deployment of new, high-level infrastructure we offer services to data centers and other power consumers who need technology solutions in place to hit  rigorous reliability metrics in order to avoid unplanned outages and penalties, and ensure stability.

Helping small energy co-ops do more with less

Aligned Goals

The NRECA educates policymakers, the public, and stakeholders about the role and contributions of electric cooperatives in serving rural America. This includes raising awareness of issues impacting electric cooperatives, promoting the value of cooperative ownership, and highlighting the innovative solutions cooperatives are implementing to meet the evolving needs of their communities.

Electric cooperatives are deeply rooted in the communities they serve, and the NRECA works to strengthen this bond by facilitating community engagement and empowerment initiatives. This includes supporting cooperative-sponsored community programs, promoting civic participation and volunteerism among cooperative members, and advocating for policies that empower rural communities to thrive.

Dynamic Ratings also believes in the importance of community. This belief is demonstrated in part through our support of community activities. Here are some of the projects in which we have or are continuing to participate in:

Our educational partnerships are part of our core principles at Dynamic Ratings

University Student Placement

Dynamic Ratings is passionate about sharing knowledge and contributing to the energy sector in ways that promote positive growth. We understand that many of the current and future challenges will be solved by the next generation of engineers. We employ a number of engineering students each year in Australia and in the USA to help them develop into the future leaders of the Energy Sector.

Marquette University Corporate Sponsor

At Dynamic Ratings we believe education is important. We are proud to support Marquette University as a corporate sponsor.

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Corporate Sponsor

At Dynamic Ratings we believe education is important. We are proud to support MSOE as a corporate sponsor, and we are also active in industry organizations such as IEEE and CIGRE.

DER Integration

The distribution network is a major asset, distributed over a wide area. While much of this asset hasn’t changed for decades, its use is actually changing very rapidly. A new paradigm shift must address growing challenges with the introduction of distributed energy resources (DERs), reduced budgets, and high-performance expectations. Doing things the way they have always been done is not enough – utilities now need data more than ever to make best use of their assets – both the physical assets and the people who manage and operate them.

Dynamic Ratings has partnered with the NRECA to power communities and empower members to improve the quality of their lives. By supporting one another in a community to reach an overarching goal of providing safe and reliable electricity, both the NRECA and Dynamic Ratings can promote, support and protect the community and business interests of electric cooperatives.

Our aims are to improve business performance through asset management and to share knowledge, training, and resources to keep electricity safe, to help energy providers and utilities do more with less, to enable low carbon transition where possible, and to help the entire network keep the lights on.

Grid Stability

Dynamic Ratings’ monitoring provides downtime mitigation, which in turn increases the reliability of the energy supply output, improves grid stability, improves public perception and confidence, while improving economic viability.

Asset Management to provide safe and reliable electricity
Enhance connectivity to grid assets

The Dynamic Ratings ConnectGrid™ Smart Infrastructure Solution (SIS) is an agile technology stack that enhances connectivity to grid edge assets for better management and ultimately, grid stability. The system is among the best digital asset management software available and is tailored to meet varying security, scalability and availability requirements and has many options available in architecture and communication technology.

The distribution system (electric power grid) represents the largest interconnected machine in the world. It is ideally suited for the ConnectGrid™ Smart Infrastructure Solution with distributed assets, big data, machine to machine communications and a need for more sophisticated analytics.

The IoT platform can bridge operational technology hardware such as transformer monitors and line sensors with energy business systems such as PI. This ensures the data is securely and easily transmitted to all the stakeholders within a large organization so planning, construction and maintenance and asset management can all operate seamlessly with cooperation.

Key Gas Monitoring

Along with condition based monitoring, key gas monitoring plays a vital role in ensuring safety, environmental compliance, process optimization, and energy efficiency in the renewable energy sector. By monitoring gas emissions and performance parameters, such as biogas production optimization, process and control efficiency, and resource recovery, operators can enhance operational reliability, mitigate risks, and improve safety, all the while enhancing the sustainability of renewable energy projects.

Key gas monitoring, when used in conjunction with a good maintenance program consisting of routine DGA sampling and electrical testing, offers a dependable, cost-effective alternative to multi-gas monitoring.

Ensure safe and secure data transmission with asset management
Monitor Hydrogen Levels

Hydrogen gas alone doesn’t provide enough data to perform a diagnosis as to the type of fault which is occurring. But it is effective at providing an early indication of incipient faults, thereby reducing the chances of a transformer failing without some advance warning. This allows for better management of assets.

Key gas monitoring is a cost effective solution that allows monitoring to be implemented more widely across the entire fleet. It’s an effective method that detects hydrogen generation levels inside a transformer’s main tank. Hydrogen generation occurs when thermal levels are above a transformer’s normal operating temperature. Therefore, monitoring for key gas components provides an early indication of most abnormal operating conditions that may occur in the main tank.

Dissolved Gas Analysis is a major component of a comprehensive transformer monitoring system. Dynamic Ratings supports communication to all major DGA monitors. We recognize that DGA monitors have different advantages and no one product would be optimal for all customers.

Our DGA monitor comparison charts provide basic information on the various monitors available on the market today. If you have additional questions or would like further information please contact us, we would be happy to share our experience. Our goal is to help you make the best decisions for your transformer monitoring system.

Concluding Thoughts

Working with the NRECA enables us to provide stakeholders as well as end users with reliable, safe, and efficient energy solutions, while further educating the public. If you’d like to tap into our expertise and find out what our asset performance management software can do for your utilities company, please get in touch today.

Author: Tyler Willis, Dynamic Ratings