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Tennessee Valley Authority Goes Live With IBM Software to Streamline Fleet Operations

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the United States’ largest public power company, has initiated fleet-wide use of IBM (IBM ) software solutions to help it achieve asset-management improvements across all its power facilities, including fossil, hydro, nuclear, wind along with supporting Business Units such as Power Systems Operations, Facilities and the Customer Support & Repair Organization.

TVA’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) project with IBM is targeted to increase efficiencies by streamlining and standardizing work processes for sustainable performance improvement by operating its diverse power facilities as a single system - effectively creating a centralized data-and-command center for TVA going forward.

The project with IBM is the largest, most integrated enterprise asset-management solution executed to date by any U.S. utility company.

Today, TVA generates electricity at 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired plants, 11 combustion-turbine sites, three nuclear plants, a pumped-storage hydropower plant, and 18 green-power sites that employ wind turbines, methane gas, and solar panels.  The energy travels through some 16,000 miles of transmission lines and a network of 158 local distributors to reach the homes and businesses of approximately 9 million people across TVA’s service region, which includes Tennessee and portions of six other contiguous states.

The EAM project - which is able to serve up to 8,000 concurrent users - also represents the largest deployment to date of IBM’s Maximo Asset Management software, including Maximo for Nuclear Energy, by IBM Global Business Services.  As one of five new TVA enterprise systems, IBM’s software provides the integration of the other four, consolidating TVA’s work management, supply chain, enterprise financial management and corrective-action program data into a single repository.  In extending Maximo to all TVA business units the solution provides TVA with a unified asset management approach, the IBM solution also replaces the utility’s legacy computerized maintenance and supply-chain management systems.

Prior to the adoption of Maximo software, TVA’s use of siloed software asset management applications was adversely affecting not only costs but the integration of vendor products across the power-generation system.  These challenges - plus the pending obsolescence of legacy asset management software and systems - added impetus to collaborations between the giant utility and IBM to lower maintenance costs by consolidating and integrating software systems.

TVA’s new goals included the elimination of standalone business processing systems, independent tracking mechanisms, and manually intensive paper and spreadsheet processes; and the complete integration of work management, corrective action, financial and supply chain systems and processes.

IBM’s joint Global Services and Maximo Asset Management team joined forces with TVA subject-matter experts from all business units to consolidate these work management systems.  Along the way, the team also succeeded in integrating 24 legacy applications with Maximo; standardizing business processes across the fleet; eliminating more than 70 legacy systems; implementing a Web portal to support both internal and external users, and implementing a secure single sign-on process for all enterprise system programs.

Further, the massive project consolidated disparate systems into a single Enterprise Data Warehouse and, calling on IBM Cognos technology, implemented a Maximo-Cognos reporting solution to meet present and future compliance and analytical goals.

In terms of scope, the EAM data conversion project alone reviewed more than 227 million records, reducing that number by two-thirds in a massive data cleanup that experienced not a single record conversion failure as a result of coding processes.  Asset management transformation touched nearly 1.4 million assets in more than 1.5 million operating locations such as pumps and pump sites that involved more than 77 million records.  And in the area of supply-chain management, the project consolidated half a million distinct catalog identification codes and 15 million inventory units worth approximately $426 million.

‘IBM is proud to have TVA join the growing family of nuclear power generating companies who are looking to Maximo Asset Management and Maximo for Nuclear Power as essential parts of their drives to reduce costs while improving operations and performance with a single, integrated system,’ said Joel McGlynn, Vice President and Partner Enterprise Asset Management Solution Representative: SCM, IBM Global Business Services. ‘Explicitly based on industry best practices as defined in the Standard Nuclear Performance Model, Maximo for Nuclear Power is a highly scalable architecture that will enable TVA to integrate and consolidate legacy asset management applications to improve operational and IT efficiency and reduce complexity.’

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