SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., September 9, 2015 – Smart Wires was recently awarded in conjunction with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) funding to implement a project in the utility’s territory. With this funding, which Smart Wires will use to manufacture and install distributed power flow control technology on the utility’s transmission network, Smart Wires is one step closer to supporting the utility’s efforts to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to ratepayers.
The EPIC Program funds clean energy research, demonstration and deployment projects that support California’s energy policy goals, and promotes greater electricity reliability, lower cost and improved safety. The goal of the EPIC program, according to its creator the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), is to fill critical funding gaps within energy innovation and thereby enable the advancement of new technologies, tools and strategies. Leveraging Smart Wires technology aligns with the CPUC’s goals for creating a “resilient grid that is supported by a highly flexible and robust distribution and transmission infrastructure.”
Smart Wires plans to deploy its distributed PowerLine Guardian™ technology on PG&E’s network in October of 2015. This project also includes implementation of a wireless communication and control system, with the goal of supporting eventual Energy Management System (EMS) integration. The technology is mounted directly on the conductor near the transmission structures, and when energized, increases line impedance, thereby redirecting the power flow to electrically parallel lines. “The innovative use of distributed power flow control is exactly what the transmission grid needs.” said Gregg Lemler, Vice President, Transmission Operations, PG&E. “We are excited about the possibilities of positively impacting our grid.”
PG&E expects that deploying Smart Wires technology will lead to multiple benefits for both its business and its ratepayers. The technology enables utilities to rapidly solve near-term transmission challenges and to prioritize reliability projects that are critical to serving customers. By eliminating transmission bottlenecks and redistributing power across underutilized lines, the solution also allows PG&E to alleviate congestion, leading to lower energy costs for ratepayers. Finally, because the solution is re-deployable, PG&E can relocate the technology as its needs change, leading to greater operational and construction flexibility.
“We’re proud to be a part of this collaboration and to support the EPIC program in California, which is shaping up to be a huge success for all involved,” said Jim Davis, CEO of Smart Wires. “I also look forward to building on these efforts and continuing to work with these innovative partners, who are committed to demonstrating how we’ll create a dynamic grid of the future.”
About Smart Wires
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices in the United States and in the United Kingdom, Smart Wires is the leader in grid optimization solutions that leverage its patented distributed power flow control technology. Driven by a world-class leadership team with extensive experience delivering innovative solutions, Smart Wires works with utilities globally to address the unique challenges of the rapidly evolving electric system. Smart Wires technology was developed by utilities for utilities, led by a consortium of large US utilities at the National Electric Energy Testing Research and Applications Center (NEETRAC). This core group of utilities, which included Southern Company, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. (BGE) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), defined the vision for the original technology. Today, the system is rapidly becoming part of the utility tool kit as more and more electric utilities explore new ways to alleviate congestion, improve network utilization, manage changing generation profiles and maintain reliable electric service. For more information, please visit smartwires2.wpengine.com.
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