National Grid is a publically-listed company charged with running the electrical transmission grid across England and Wales. Set up in 1990 it went public five years later and in 2005 took responsibility for running the Scottish grid too, though it doesn’t own the infrastructure north of the border.
The infrastructure it does own includes more than 50 sites across England and Wales, which are maintained by Hitachi Energy under a service agreement that has been running for more than 17 years, thanks to what the customer describes as “exceptional” performance.
That service agreement requires Hitachi Energy to stock spare parts, and provide an engineer within 24 hours (on working days) in the event of a failure, but it’s the preventative maintenance that the customer has really come to appreciate because it extends the life of the equipment – an import factor when some of the sites are more than 20 years old.
Hitachi Energy Solution
When first negotiated, 18 years ago, the contract demanded a four-hour response at any time, but the redundancy, and resilience, of the grid, has made that unnecessary. These days, the Hitachi Energy engineers still respond within four hours during the working day, but at other times a next-day response has proven more than adequate. Nowadays, the contractual response is 24 hours but Hitachi Energy aims to respond as soon as possible when the problem is deemed urgent.
Hitachi Energy maintains an extensive stock of spare parts, at a site in Stone, which is conveniently located in the center of England, but it is the skilled Hitachi Energy engineers who have been able to prevent device failures with preemptive repairs – reducing downtime and expensive outages.
This proactive approach to service has proved extremely beneficial to the customer, who has seen extended lifecycles and reduced maintenance costs.
By outsourcing its maintaince National Grid not only ensures that qualified, and experienced, engineers are consistently available, but it also changes a variable cost into a predictable expenditure. A fixed-price contract ensures that faults are quickly attended to, and that preventative maintaince is carried out promptly. It’s in the interests of both parties to ensure faults are kept to a minimum.
Hitachi Energy advantage
Over the last 17 years, Hitachi Energy has obviously built up a good deal of knowledge about the systems and operations at the National Grid. Having been involved in many of the sites since their inception ABB has a unique insight into their operational and maintenance needs.
But it is the trust between the companies that has prompted National Grid to again renew its maintenance contract. Built-up over years, that trust-based relationship enables both companies to work effectively together, understanding what’s needed and delivering it, combining efforts to ensure the grid remains operational without excessive expenditure.
Hitachi Energy has been maintaining National Grid equipment for almost two decades, and with an exemplary quality of service, proactive maintenance to reduce faults, and experience engineers who understand what the customer needs, there’s no reason to think Hitachi Energy and National Grid won’t be working together for at least another decade.
Substation Automation Service
As a market leader, Hitachi Energy offers a number of consultative services directly to electrical utilities, manufacturers and contractors, aimed at supporting power system projects, more efficiently and economically.
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