Tacoma Power provides energy and telecommunication services to the City of Tacoma and several neighboring communities. The company owns and maintains four hydroelectric plants that serve as a source of clean, renewable electricity.
To support the preservation of wildlife and their habitat, recovery of salmonid stocks, and recreational opportunities surrounding their hydroelectric plants, Tacoma Power funds and maintains four significant fish and wildlife programs. These programs include multiple fish hatcheries and several fish collection facilities with the goal to restore salmon and steelhead populations.
Tacoma Power recently commissioned a new fish collection facility located at the Cowlitz Falls Dam as part of their Cowlitz River salmon recovery efforts. Fish collection activities at the new Cowlitz Falls facility use a number of pumps to circulate water from the Cowlitz River, creating the required fish attraction water flows. Captured fish are examined, counted and separated by species. The fish are kept in holding tanks until they can be safely transported to designated release sites downstream of the dams along the Cowlitz River. If key systems at the facility fail, the water oxygen levels could fall, potentially causing harm to the fish. Because the Cowlitz Falls collection facility is located in a remote area and is not staffed 24/7, Tacoma Power wanted an alarm notification system.
Existing Auto-Dialer Systems Are Inefficient
The other fish hatcheries that are part of the Cowlitz River Project use auto-dialers to alert personnel to alarm conditions. When an alarm triggers, the auto-dialer calls the appropriate phone number. While the system is helpful, it is not capable of providing sufficient details about the root cause for the alarm. To understand and respond appropriately, the operator must travel to one of the facility SCADA workstations. From there, the operator can determine the cause of the alarm and address the problem.
Tacoma Power management recognized inefficiencies in the auto-dialer system. Because their SCADA system can detect hundreds of unique alarm conditions, Tacoma Power wanted a notification system that was capable of providing operators with more detail. They also wanted a system that could escalate alarms to the ‘next available’ staff if the primary operator could not be reached.
The alarm notification system for the new fish collection facility needed to provide:
● Easy alarm and workflow configuration
● Multiple and/or diverse alarm notification methods for failover redundancy
● Detailed alarm notifications for informed decisions and improved response times
● Easy integration with the existing SCADA system
Informative Alarm Notifications from WIN-911 Improve Response Time
Tacoma Power first heard about WIN-911 software in late 2015, when they installed WIN-911 Pro at another of their fish facilities at their Cushman Project. After evaluating how well the software integrated with their existing iFIX SCADA system and noting its reliability since installation, they selected WIN-911 Enterprise for use at Cowlitz Falls because it met their requirements.
The new Cowlitz Falls fish collection facility uses WIN-911 integrated with GE’s iFIX SCADA software for 24/7 remote alarm notifications. Detailed notifications from WIN-911, allow operators at the collection facility to make informed decisions, thus saving time and preventing fish loss. For example, an alert can specify that there is an electrical problem, prompting the operator to arrange for an electrician to meet him on site to significantly reduce response time.
WIN-911 provides Tacoma Power with the flexible configuration, detailed notifications, and reliable, automated escalation to ensure safe hatchery operations around the clock.