Westar Energy upgrades 43 year old outage management system

Westar Energy (KSN file photo)

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WICHITA, Kansas — Westar Energy provides service to around 700,000 customers across Kansas.

They say the process to help them restore power is going to be more efficient after upgrading to a new outage management system.

It’s been almost a week since Westar Energy upgraded to a new outage management system and it’s a system the electronic company says couldn’t come at a better time.

“The old system originated in the early 70s,” said Phil Sadler, Director of Distribution System Operations.

It took several years to move forward with the $2.5 million dollar upgrade.

“The information pushing to the trucks we can give more information to help them in the field,” said Sadler.

Westar’s Phil Sadler overlooks the control center in the 700 hundred block of West Central.

He points out the new system will make it easier for in house operators to pin point the outages on a map and to know where crews are at all times.

“We’re hoping that it helps us in here to be more efficient in dispatching by giving the right information to the field crews then there’s less chance of them having to return.” said Sadler.

The system will also provide some relief for field crews– installing a new piece of equipment could now be noted electronically.

“Everything that they use to do was on paper for when they would install a new piece of equipment,” said Sadler. “It would take quite a while for paper trail t catch up and for our systems to catch up.”

Sadler believes in the long run the efficiency in house will help with restore time for customers.

“Over the long haul it’s going to help us get people’s lights on faster,” said Sadler.

Westar Energy is also looking at a distribution management system.

A system that can help them closely track and monitor field equipments, but at this time it’s still very early to tell when that system will be launched.


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