Minnesota utility submits proposal for advanced grid programme

Metering.com 9 AUGUST 2016

Minnesota-based utility holding company Xcel Energy has filed approval with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to build a $562 million advanced grid project.

The approval from the Public Utilities Commission will give Xcel Energy the ability to monitor and control its distribution system.

The project includes the rollout of smart meters and support systems which are expected to improve reliability, provide for better integration of rooftop solar, and give customers more information about how they use energy. [FPL installs smart grid switches to address outages]

Xcel said in its filing to the Commission that new system will make new rate structures possible, however, has not yet proposed a cost recovery mechanism for the meters.

The utility said that currently, it has the ability to read meters automatically, but that those meters cannot send the voltage and power quality data needed for near real time monitoring and automation.

David Eves, president of Xcel Energy-Colorado, said: “Our customers are becoming increasingly interested in new technologies, such as advanced home applications, battery storage, private solar and electric vehicles.” [National Grid selects Itron for infrastructure upgrade]

Eves added that its proposed advanced grid intelligence and security (AGIS) system would support the two-way flow of energy and data as well as facilitate customer investments in rooftop solar and energy storage. It will also help locate and isolate faults and outages.

The installation is part of the Xcel’s ‘Our Energy Future’ programme rolled out in January this year.

SCADA for grid management

In related news, Colorado utility Yampa Valley Electric Association (YVEA), partnered with advanced distribution system firm Survalent Technology for improved grid management.

In a combined statement, the Colorado state based utility cooperative said it integrated Survalent Technology’s SCADA system to enhance its grid data acquisition and processing for real time network management.

In addition to the SCADA system, the utility also acquired the firm’s outage management system (OMS) and distribution management software (DMS) for deployment in future.

The two parties are planning to integrate the OMS and the DMS with the SCADA system to come up with a single advanced distribution management system in future.