MINIMIZE ENVIRONMENTAL AND COMMUNITY DISRUPTION

Due to environmental regulations and community opposition, it is often challenging for electric utilities to build new lines. Therefore, many utilities reconductor existing lines to solve problems. This costly approach involves long-lead time materials and permits, and requires accessing every span along the entire length of a line. Smart Wires solutions negate the need for costly construction that is disruptive to consumers and the environment. Compared to the reconductoring alternative, these solutions are simpler to implement, more cost-effective and more time-efficient.

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CHALLENGE

  • Increased loading levels would cause a 113% overload on a 69 kV line.
  • The utility’s alternative, upgrading the line’s capacity and undergrounding the line, would require the utility to install 4 miles of underground cable in an area with strong anti-build sentiments at an estimated cost of $24 to $28 million.

SOLUTION

  • Smart Wires Power Guardians™ push power off the overloaded line to resolve the problem.
  • A SmartBank™ deployment fits in available space adjacent to an existing substation.
  • This solution resolves the known overload through 2034 and can easily be scaled or redeployed as required.

IMPACT

  • The Smart Wires solution saves $19 to $23 million compared to the alternative.
  • With Smart Wires, the utility can limit the construction footprint to a small area inside an existing substation.
  • The low-footprint SmartBank deployment minimizes community disturbance.