POWER December 2021 - 15

FOCUS ON O&M
Regardless of the use case, these
contributors are really replacing the
" create and consume " mindset with a
" create and contribute " way of thinking.
There is no longer the assumption
within their enterprise that something
they create is their little golden egg to
be kept hidden away from the world.
For example, one of these top 20 contributors
built an enterprise-wide data
analytics platform alongside 100-plus
analytics products for a major international
oil and gas operator. As the
preferred partner for this oil and gas
operator, it led the end-to-end journey
by providing business consulting, industry
expertise, architecture, deployment,
data engineering, data science,
and visualization
solutions. Similarly,
it designed and implemented an artificial
intelligence-powered interface for
global engineering, procurement, and
construction (EPC) firms to track, along
with managing and predicting the health
of their $1 billion-plus projects.
Open source has defined a new
era in software development beyond
product and design specialists' contributions
and successes. Several renewable
energy companies (Figure 2) are
turning to open source to overcome
challenges, such as smaller budgets,
rudimentary tools, and inefficient data
storage. By building scalable software
solutions through open-source tools,
they can lower product development
costs, have faster product development
cycles (development, testing, deployment,
and environment readiness), and
achieve higher code-quality standards,
along with facilitating collaboration and
streamlining maintenance.
Interestingly, open source used to
carry a stigma of being easily hackable
and was considered a cheap alternative
to proprietary software. Since then,
open source resides at the heart of innovation
as it allows anyone to have
the ability to modify and share creations.
This freedom fueled the rise of
tech giants like Google, Facebook, and
Amazon. Today, many other massive enterprises
like Microsoft, Walmart, and
JP Morgan Chase use and make opensource
software.
While the energy industry-particularly
renewables (Figure 3)-lagged behind
other enterprises with the creation
and implementation of open-source
software, there are some in the traditional
power and energy sector that
have already leveraged a massive and diverse
range of power and utilities operational
and management data. In 2019,
Duke Energy and Avista Development
teamed up to invest in open-source
software for grid-edge technologies to
provide customers with information and
tools to help manage their energy usage.
Also, the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI) built a fully functional
open-source version of its VEN and VTN
implements. Demonstrated by Duke/
Avista and EPRI, by following the steps
of the tech industry, the energy sector
should build on top of an existing foundation
and platform that can integrate
their products or services.
Of course, a critical factor in ensuring
an open-source contributor can truly celebrate
their successes is by making sure
they have a process in place to get their
creations out into the world responsibly.
To that end, developers looking to implement
open-source code are encouraged
to prioritize quality over quantity, addressing
these four considerations:
■ Security and risk management, including
cybersecurity.
■ Regulatory and compliance requirements.
■
Organizational compatibility, including
infrastructure.
■ Technical challenges, maintenance,
and support.
The four-phase process provides a
3. Many providers, including several
renewable
energy companies, are turning to
open-source software to overcome various
challenges. The software provides cost savings
after budget cuts, and offers scalable
solutions and faster product development.
Courtesy: EPAM Systems
December 2021 | POWER
guide for using open source, removing
innovation barriers or making them easier
to overcome to minimize effort. Of
course, the central part of this process
is to review the appropriate software license
checks, support code reviews, and
scan for any potential security vulnerabilities.
But because key stakeholders are
required to help with the red tape, what
www.powermag.com
4. Open-source software allows for smart
meters and grid analytics, maximizing energy
consumption by balancing supply and demand
beyond the meter with system automation.
Courtesy: EPAM Systems
should be the most challenging part of
the process on paper is mostly positive
because they understand that the contributor
is here to support their efforts.
This approach isn't cumbersome, and
there are no surprises hiding around
the corner. It's very rare that something
pops up that actually is a blocker, and if
it does, nine out of 10 times, it can absolutely
be rectified with the right people
ready to remove roadblocks. That's
really important because open source
isn't about pushing stuff out there that
ultimately will sit dormant and not be
accessible to anyone. It's about pushing
stuff out that's useful, and contributors
want to get that stuff out the door as
well, so they can start chatting about it
and celebrating it.
As utilities move toward open source,
it's clear it's happening in the grid. From
bi-directional communications to standards
and analytics, open source aids
in maximizing energy consumption by
balancing supply and demand beyond
the meter. It enables a push of analytics
from beyond just the generation central
station power plant, out into the field to
a distributed network, or even better,
past the meter and into the customer's
home (Figure 4).
Much like open source itself, this entire
process is tried and tested, and can
be quickly adopted by other organizations.
Likewise, the beauty of open-source
communities is that they can make their
processes accessible and free of the usual
red tape, which is likely to create the
kind of excitement among their own engineers
that will improve collaboration and
drive truly better software for everyone.
-Chris Howard is open source lead, and
Steve Chastain is vice president, Energy
Practice Leader, for EPAM Systems Inc.
15
http://www.powermag.com

POWER December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of POWER December 2021

POWER December 2021 - Cover1
POWER December 2021 - Cover2
POWER December 2021 - 1
POWER December 2021 - 2
POWER December 2021 - 3
POWER December 2021 - 4
POWER December 2021 - 5
POWER December 2021 - 6
POWER December 2021 - 7
POWER December 2021 - 8
POWER December 2021 - 9
POWER December 2021 - 10
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POWER December 2021 - 15
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POWER December 2021 - 17
POWER December 2021 - 18
POWER December 2021 - 19
POWER December 2021 - 20
POWER December 2021 - SCover1
POWER December 2021 - SCover2
POWER December 2021 - S1
POWER December 2021 - S2
POWER December 2021 - S3
POWER December 2021 - S4
POWER December 2021 - S5
POWER December 2021 - S6
POWER December 2021 - S7
POWER December 2021 - S8
POWER December 2021 - S9
POWER December 2021 - S10
POWER December 2021 - S11
POWER December 2021 - S12
POWER December 2021 - S13
POWER December 2021 - S14
POWER December 2021 - S15
POWER December 2021 - S16
POWER December 2021 - SCover3
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POWER December 2021 - Cover3
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