Washington State volunteers for US Department of Energy led initiative to standardize how utilities report outages

  • March 25, 2021

Washington State has volunteered to be the pilot state for the Outage Data Initiative Nationwide (ODIN) program, an initiative led by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Currently, during power outage incidents, outage data from utilities is fragmented and poorly standardized. Many utilities choose to display outage information on their websites, while others only post updates to social media, and some do not share information at all. Across the country, other state energy offices and emergency management agencies receive outage data from utilities, but the data output is collected via inconsistent methods, making synthesis difficult.

ODIN’s solution to this inconsistent data sharing is to standardize reporting of outage information via detailed outage maps that are timely and accessible to emergency managers and utility stakeholders. These integrated maps help create a common operating picture for situational awareness during emergency response and recovery and can improve preparation and energy resilience efforts. Minimal effort is needed to create and maintain data services with support from the ODIN team, who help provide maintenance and ensure secure sharing of data.

The Washington Energy Infrastructure Assessment Tool (WEIAT) is how Washington State is receiving outage data from the electric utilities that are participating in the ODIN project.

Electric utilities that would like to get involved can send an email to wa.energyem@commerce.wa.gov.

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