Reliable Data Supports Cleaner Energy Initiative For 50 States

Automated Control Concepts — 2023 Finalist

10 min video  /  2 minute read


SJI’s challenge had multiple aspects. It needed to rapidly deploy modular production facilities at remote, rural locations. These locations required full SCADA control and visibility across multiple modular skid equipment systems. Data from these systems must be reliably and securely published in a central repository for reporting purposes. Financial and regulatory reporting is critical in this application with the need to totalize raw materials, renewable natural gas production, and effluents.



The highly flexible Ignition platform can be deployed in a modular fashion, allowing ACC to deploy a gateway at each site that complies with the network architecture required by SJI. Secure site functions such as SCADA are separated from external-facing functions such as data transmission via MQTT and alarm notifications via Twilio. The lightweight MQTT transmitters allow ACC to publish and synchronize all data from each site’s SCADA to a central system, where the data can be viewed in a central portal across multiple sites. 

Ignition helps establish an enterprise-wide Unified Namespace. This ensures asset-naming standards across all sites allow data to be combined into the centralized location and allow seamless integration to external applications. The creation of this Unified Namespace and Ignition embedded into the design of the SCADA’s tag structure makes the integration of the resulting data from these systems possible with no additional toolsets. Essentially the data is self-describing.

MQTT provides robust, secure data transmission with store-and-forward capabilities to ensure data delivery despite the remote and low-speed nature of many of the site connections. The enterprise-level system is highly scalable, using a combination of multiple MQTT distributors, redundant MQTT Engine backend gateway tag servers, and multiple frontend servers attached to a secure enterprise load balancer. While users can drill down and visualize the same screens and data that are visible at the site SCADAs, the system also provides a flexible dashboard interface to allow users to create their own views of data with the combination of multiple, flexible widgets.



ACC was able to deliver on all aspects of this secure system solution for SJI, with a fully scaled solution of over 50 sites. The system provides a standard, local control system at each site, centralized viewing and historization, and satisfies SJI’s need for a reliable repository of production data that supports its financial and regulatory reporting needs.


Deploy Date: December 2022

Project Scope:

Tags: 40,000 per site X 50 sites

Screens: 28 displays per site, variable dashboards at multi-site

Clients: 50

Alarms: 3,000 per site X 50 sites

Devices used: 8 skid-based PLCs for digester, media feeds, gas upgrading, and compression/distribution at each site utilizing Siemens, Rockwell, Opto22, and Schneider. Central BOP PLC based on Rockwell ControlLogix.

Architectures used: Enterprise/IIoT

Databases used: 50

Historical data logged: 1,292 tags per site X 50 sites, ~64,600 historical data points

Project Information

Created By:   Automated Control Concepts LLC

ACC’s mission is to provide high-quality information products, services, and solutions to manufacturing and utility companies. In doing so, we will strategically deploy new technology and continue to implement proven technology in the best interests of our end user. We strive to establish long-term relationships with our end users, employees, and suppliers. We shall be fair and honest in all our dealings. ACC strives to provide automation and controls solutions and services with the latest in technology. ACC can architect, design, build, and commission complete process control systems.


Project For:   South Jersey Industries

At SJI, we recognize that our position as a trusted community partner means that we hold a shared responsibility to protect the environment in which our employees, communities, and over 700,000 customers call home. That's why we are committed to promoting sustainability, driving innovation, and providing solutions that advance New Jersey's vision of a clean energy future for a better today and tomorrow. We aim to achieve a 70% carbon reduction of operational emissions and consumption by the year 2030, achieve 100% carbon neutral operations by 2040, and commit at least 25% of annual capital expenditures on sustainability projects.


Posted on October 20, 2023