A: The Outage Data Initiative Nationwide (ODIN) seeks to establish a comprehensive digital reporting standard for power outage data to enable utilities and others to exchange data freely with designated stakeholders.
  • Create an outage data standard
  • Support implementation of standardized outage data
  • Promote adoption of the data standard
    • Engage all stakeholders, including utilities, vendors, local, state and federal officials
    • Identify additional outage data use cases
A. The Department of Energy Office of Electricity's Advanced Grid Research is championing this effort for the electric sector with Oak Ridge National Lab.
A. Many utilities display outage data on the web, while others only post to Twitter or Facebook. Some utilities do not share outage data information at all. There was no industry 'standard' or guidance on how to share this data. Some utilities do not share outage data. Some utilities share outage data, but the data is in different formats.
  • Utilities are limited by the absence of a single data-driven platform that can improve situational awareness and coordination with mutual aid and storm managers through consistent electric grid outage data.
  • Emergency managers are limited by the inability to integrate outage data with other critical incident datasets for decision-making.
    • The Emergency Management (EM) domain works to improve decision-making by organizations that share information relating to emergency response and emergency management and to increase the ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations.
  • Other Stakeholders access publicly available outage data through public websites. They are limited by:
    • Incomplete data
    • Delayed data
    • Unstandardized data and processes across local, state and national domains
    • The inability to overlay outage data with incident information and visualize the full outage picture for their domain
    These limitations delay and/or misinform executive decision making due to diminished understanding of incident impacts and degraded response operations.
A: Industry standards are "universal translators" that help...
  • Lower future integration costs
  • Enable efficient data exchange with many stakeholders (industry innovators and local, state, and federal agencies)
  • Enable innovation, including Social Media Integration and Damage Assessment Applications
  • Enable deeper data analytics for outage prediction resulting in improved system reliability
  • Creates a "universal translator" for customer outage data to...
    • Drive improved decision support
    • Help identify, quantify, and prioritize Emergency Response resources
    • Enhance (not replace) existing utility outage management systems and practices
  • Provides accurate and timely outage data leading to...
    • Improved analytics
    • Improved decision support
    • Improved staging of utility crews and restoration equipment
    • Improved utility response and restoration activities
    • Improved dispatching of first responders for public safety
  • Reduces unnecessary phone calls to utilities seeking status updates
A: Stakeholders include:
  • All electric utilities
  • Local, state and federal emergency managers
  • Critical infrastructure partners
  • OMS and Outage Data Vendors
A. There are two groups that will be involved in implementing the standard.

Data Providers:

  • Electric utilities - through their OMS or GIS provider

Data Subscribers:

  • Local, state and federal emergency managers
  • Critical infrastructure partners
  • Electric utilities
A: Responsibilities of each stakeholder...
  • All electric utilities - originators of the outage data
    • Commitment to support and implement ODI (send timely outage data in the ODI or MultiSpeak format)
    • Participate in regional meetings with other utilities
  • Electric utility OMS/GIS vendor - translates the data into CIM or MultiSpeak format
  • Local, state and federal emergency managers - update systems to accept CIM or MultiSpeak format
  • Critical infrastructure partners - update systems to accept CIM or MultiSpeak format
A: The ODIN team is working with many utility OMS/GIS vendors to implement the ODI "universal translator" natively into their software. When implemented at your vendor, utility effort is as little as 30 minutes. To implement either the CIM or MultiSpeak standard natively on the utility system, the effort required depends solely on the stakeholder's systems and whether they are already compatible with CIM or MultiSpeak. If not compatible, the implementation may take a week of dedicated time to implement. If compatible with CIM or MultiSpeak already, the implementation can take as little as half a day. For utilities that have "home-grown" OMS systems, the effort may be higher, but support from the ODIN team is available at no charge.
A: There is no external cost to implement. The cost associated with implementing ODIN depends solely on the stakeholder's cost of updating stakeholders' systems to conform to the new standard.
A: Participation is optional, but highly encouraged!
A: After your utility decides to participate and has the internal approvals,
  • Respond to the DOE with a participation letter
  • Start the data exchange process
    • Via ODIN vendor partners
      • ODIN can work directly with utility vendor(s) for the data exchange with minimal to no effort from the utility.
    • Via native utility adoption of the standard
      • ODIN provides knowledgeable resources to help!
A: The ODIN team will work with each vendor on their standardization. Our goal is to have the outage data standard work with any version of the utility OMS.
A: Currently there are 11 use cases in 3 categories.

Standardization of data exchange:

  • UC 1: Within a utility (Detailed outage data)
  • UC 2: Between utilities (Generalized outage data)
  • UC 3: With emergency management agencies (More accurate, granular outage data)
  • UC 4: With media/public (Public outage map)
  • UC 5: With other infrastructure providers (e.g. Cellular, Joint utility providers)
  • UC 6: With end-point devices (e.g. AMI meters, streetlights and traffic lights)


  • UC 7: Integration of Social Media for outage reporting to/from customers
  • UC 8: Integration of Augmented Reality, Drones, mobile platforms, and WMS with GIS & OMS for damage assessment


  • UC 9: Analysis of outage reporting codes
  • UC 10: Standardized outage reporting
  • UC 11: Improved Post-Storm Analysis “report card”
A: The level of interoperability required for ODIN can only be achieved by standardizing the customer outage status information from Outage Management Systems into one of two key standard formats: Common Information Model (CIM), also known as IEC 61968-3, and MultiSpeak version 3 or version 4.1. The data is can be delivered to or pulled by ODIN in multiple formats (XML, JSON) via a secure web service call.
  • It is widely recognized and accepted as an international standard
  • IEC 61968 is an International Standard that is continuously maintained (IEC TC57, WG14)
  • Implementations based on the CIM data model are in place at many US and International utilities
  • For more information see: http://iectc57.ucaiug.org/
  • It is widely recognized and accepted as an international standard
  • Developed by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in collaboration with key industry vendors
  • Often found in applications used by municipal and cooperative electric utilities.
  • More information and specification available at www.MultiSpeak.org
  • Latitude/Longitude or polygon (Preferred)
  • County level (Minimum)
  • Zip-code level (Optional)
  • For publicly available information – NO customer information
A: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a Department of Energy Federally Funded Research & Development Center (FFRDC) and will be hosting and securing the data. ORNL recognizes the importance of data safety and security. The Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) at ORNL supports and maintains the ODIN infrastructure using the latest federal cybersecurity standards.
A: No. Each stakeholder must decide what is safe to share. ODIN accepts whatever the utility is comfortable sharing.
A: Data refresh timing depends on the utility. Current participants are refreshing the data
  1. Real-time / near-real time: when OMS data is refreshed
  2. Fixed interval such as 5, 10, 15 minutes
  3. If using multiple feeds, dependent upon subscriber
    1. Private (Emergency Management feed) - real time preferred
    2. Public feed - 15 minutes delay
A: A. Phase 1 of the Outage Data Initiative (ODI) in 2018 led to successful integration of a statewide power outage map for Washington state using ODI. Phase 2 expanded integration and an ongoing Phase 3 is targeting the entire nation connecting with utilities, outage management system (OMS) vendors and state Emergency Managers to adopt ODI standards to improve interoperability among grid stakeholders.
  • Utilities Involved:
    • Avista
    • Seattle City Light
    • Mason PUD 3
    • Clallam County PUD
    • Orcas Power & Light Co-Op (OPALCO)
    • Douglas PUD
    • Benton PUD
    • Tacoma Public Utilities
    • Snohomish County PUD
    • Central Lincoln PUD (OR State)
    • Pend Oreille PUD
  • OMS Vendors involved:
    • National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC)
    • CGI
    • DataVoice
    • ESRI
  • Partners
    • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
    • DataCapable
    • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
    • Washington State Department of Commerce
A: ODIN is now within Phase 3
  • Nationwide implementation of the standard
  • Additional utilities and regions being engaged
  • Inviting vendors to demonstrate ODI compliance
  • Planning a series of regional Energy/Power Outage Data webinars
  • Enable analytics both internally and externally