APS Director of Energy Innovation Barbara Lockwood says. “Technology is changing everything, including the electricity grid. Our challenge is to make sure APS is investing in technologies that provide value for our customers, make financial sense and are here for the long run. This award is an indication that we are on the right track.”
As an example of the company’s energy innovation, APS recently announced the testing of an energy storage system in Flagstaff, Arizona. The system is the size of a shipping container and can generate the equivalent power output of 1,200 hybrid cars. APS reports it is “testing several uses in an electrical distribution substation, where it may one day help to dispatch power temporarily during outages. Eventually, the system will support a solar power plant and help to get more renewable energy generation onto the grid.”
Flagstaff is home to a number of other APS energy innovation pilots including the Community Power Project, which is testing the effects of a high concentration of solar energy in a single distribution area in order to optimize the grid for a future where large percentages of customers in a neighborhood could have solar panels. Later this year, a home energy information pilot will test customer benefits of in-home energy displays, programmable thermostats and residential demand response programs.
Flagstaff is also the site of a self-healing/self-isolating grid pilot and a distribution fault anticipation pilot. APS is hoping these two technologies will help predict and manage system faults, resulting in reduced power outages and quicker repair times.
Earlier this year, APS energy innovation programs were ranked fourth nationally by Intelligent Utility magazine and IDC Energy Insights.
APS is Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility and serves more than 1.1 million customers.