US utility forges ahead with smart grid development 14 SEPTEMBER 2016

Pacific Power is continuing to develop its modernisation and smart grid development strategy in a bid to improve system efficiency and provide a cost-effective service.

Pacific Power is a unit of PacifiCorp, a utility company serving the western US.

The utility said that it has completed, is monitoring, or is developing grid enhancement initiatives that include projects undertaken in its six state service territory.

The power provider notes that the benefits of these projects are specific to each individual state and its customers.

Pacific Power’s smart grid initiatives include two-way advanced meter infrastructure for network data and information about power consumption, transmission network enhancement, substation initiatives that include centralised energy storage, distribution substation metering and monitoring of substation loading and power quality at non-SCADA substations.

The utility company has also launched distribution automation and reliability initiatives and demand-side management programmes.

This involves pilot programs in Oregon and California to determine grower acceptance of load control programmes and cost and time-based pricing.

Pacific Power said that “traditional infrastructure solutions can be the most affordable and beneficial solutions for Washington customers and will continue with a common sense approach in implementing smart grid technologies.”

Smart grid technologies

Thus far, the company has installed and operated 1.2 million automated meter reading meters in its Utah, Washington and Wyoming service territories.

The utility firm said the installation of smart meters has been successful in reducing meter reading costs, reducing meter energy losses, improving employee safety, and increasing the overall quality of service to customers. [Pacific Power signs Silver Spring for AMI connectivity].

On the other hand, Pacific Power continues to experience slower-than-anticipated growth of electric vehicles in its service territory; however, it continues to engage with its stakeholders to facilitate public charging infrastructure development and opportunities.

In June the UTC issued a notice of inquiry into issuing a policy-interpretative statement describing UTC policy related to utility investments in electric vehicle supply equipment.

Pacific Power said that it submitted comments in response to the questions posed by the UTC and will continue to monitor developments in the docket and form its Washington electric vehicle strategy accordingly.

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