The majority of electricity transmission systems today are high-voltage alternating current that rely on many of the same technologies that existed more than 100 years ago. But new utility-scale generation resources-- like wind farms and large solar parks-- now compete with traditional coal, gas, and nuclear generation plants in global markets, creating new transmission grid problems and opportunities for flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS).
Duane Highley, CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) and vice-chairman of the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), recently challenged the idea that the U.S. grid is antiquated, and implied that the United States takes reliable electricity for granted. This is according to testimony Highley offered at the first of several public meetings hosted by Department of Energy for the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).
The research includes technologies to help meet North American Electric Reliability Corporation – Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC-CIP) requirements for cybersecurity, including interoperability, scalability, through demonstration projects to validate the viability of practice and/or commercialization in the energy industry.
To enhance service reliability for existing customers and accommodate future electrical load growth in Maryland and West Virginia, Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is rebuilding a major 500 kV transmission line that will replace equipment that is more than 40 years old.
The Chinese government has had the foresight to consider the needs of the country's grid development, supporting smart grid projects with favorable policies that embrace change and the implementation of new technology.
The high level of investment in our nation's transmission infrastructure will enable electric utilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, facilitate wholesale market competition, and support a diverse and changing generation portfolio for the benefit of electricity customers.
In order to provide greater clarity, consistency and improved reliability by focusing on core facilities necessary for operating the interconnected transmission network, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved further revisions to the definition of the bulk electric system (BES).
The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) Board of Governors has approved grid infrastructure upgrades that focus on reliability needs in southern California as the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) prepares for an early retirement in June 2013.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has begun construction on a regional operations center in Little Rock, Ark.
National Grid will soon begin work on the Rhode Island segment of the Interstate Reliability Project (IRP)-- a multi-million dollar undertaking that will improve the reliability of the region's electric transmission system. National Grid will invest approximately $200 million.