12. 12. 2019
Toward a Collaborative Resilience through active stakeholder’s engagement
Inês Cândido Silva, Nuno Duarte and Paulo Alberto, EDP Distribuição
Managing the risk of service disruption is embedded in the business resilience of the utilities. Despite all technological advances, namely in risk prediction such as modelling capacity, early warning systems or artificial intelligence, it is still impossible to anticipate the day or time a disaster will occur. Considering that essential services are each day more interconnected, the response to an extreme event, demands high coordination, which means that all the different players must be involved, to ensure proper recovery and communication to communities, especially in cities.
The response to extreme weather events, which are growing related with acute climate change scenarios, it’s always a coordination challenge in urban areas, once they usually represent a high number of citizens and services affected, and there are many constraints that increase its complexity, such as limited space to act, traffic and other road obstructions, etc, that may affect dramatically the recovery time.
By sharing exercises of the response plans, knowledge, information and establishing direct contacts between liaisons officers from essential services providers and civil protection structures, each sector response can be improved, reducing recovery time, increasing continuity of service and in the end, the city’s resilience to such events.
As the electric Distribution System operator (DSO), EDP Distribuição established its resilience approach, based on business continuity framework, which provided the opportunity to develop and proper evolve an Exercise Program. In this way, it was possible to increase the volume and the complexity of exercises, involving relevant stakeholders.
This year, a partnership between Lisbon Municipality and EDP Distribuição, allowed to develop OLISSIPO’19, a coordination exercise in Parque das Nações, a modern part of the city that was developed after EXPO’98, which is highly populated, a touristic area and a relevant business centre.
The exercise, focused on multiple events with relevant impact on the electrical infrastructure, had its main objectives on training operational response and coordination teams, but also to improve co-operation at the municipality level. The simulation included four different scenarios, that allowed also to test several technical options, regarding the best solution for energy supply recovery (e.g.: grid reconfiguring and deployment of emergency generation central), and active engagement with other relevant stakeholders, as CUF Descobertas Hospital and Lisbon Oceanarium.
OLISSIPO’19 was also considered an awareness opportunity, that enhanced the relevance of effective coordination with municipal civil protection, firefighters and security law forces, which are fundamental to overcome some difficulties, such as the movement of high-dimension equipment’s during recovery of electricity supply service.
However, not only by exercising it is possible to increase the preparedness and response of the essential services providers to disruptions. Another approach, concerning B2B segment, is the mitigation of dependency on essential services such as electricity supply, promoting that businesses can increase their autonomy and preparedness by accessing their facilities and prepared them, for instance, to easily connect a temporary remote generator to provide energy supply.
Combining these interactions with different stakeholders, either by establishing partnerships or improving the risk perception by cooperation with them, is a possible solution to promote and increase community’s engagement and awareness to cities/ services disruptions, and in the end, to have more resilient cities.