Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL) reports that customers in Dauphin and Cumberland counties have experienced a 38 percent improvement in service reliability, meaning fewer power interruptions and shorter outage duration since completing its smart grid pilot project less than a year ago.
The three-year, $38 million project included the installation of smart meters along 50 local distribution circuits serving about 60,000 customers. PPL also reports, “It also included upgrades to 10 area electric substations across 150 square miles and development of a dedicated, secure communications system. The reliability improvement was noted on the performance of the newly automated circuits compared with non-automated circuits in the region over the past two years.”
David Bonenberger, vice president of distribution operations says, “We’re encouraged by the early success of the PPL smart grid in the Harrisburg area. We’re implementing a stronger, more modern distribution system to better serve our customers for years to come. Our five-year business plan includes targeting circuit upgrades in areas that will realize significant reliability improvements. By targeting these areas, we’re planning our reliability investments to have the largest, most lasting effects possible to benefit our customers.”
Michael Godorov, PPL senior project manager explains, “It has taken it to another level. We get more information back from the device itself, more information about what is happening in the system and that is the beauty of it. There’s an ability to understand how much load is on a line, and understanding how much load is on that line, we are able to move that load somewhere else so that we more efficiently use our circuits and provide energy to our customers.”
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