US utility Central Hudson Gas & Electric has reduced the duration of service interruptions within its grid network in New York by 10% by automating the management and monitoring of its distributed energy resources (DER).
Central Hudson was facing grid congestion and other challenges associated with DER management and grid integration after unveiling a distributed generation programme in northern New York City suburbs and the state capital of Albany.
To address the challenges, the utility adopted Sensus’ remote telemetry module, a wireless communication tool to ensure real-time management of DERs.
The technology will also help the utility to avoid excessive grid backflow and overvoltage that could cause system damage. The project is also enabling distribution automation capabilities and helping to avoid power outages.
As part of the project, the utility is using a direct transfer trip, or (DTT) system that would merge communications from the interoperable RTM II with circuit breakers and reclosers. The system would automatically isolate a DER, or small-sized power generation unit, when a condition exists that can lead to excessive reverse power flow or overvoltage is detected and help ensure grid stability.
Kevin Post, team leader of smart grid at Central Hudson, said: “You can’t advance sustainability at the expense of efficiency or reliability.
“We needed to make sure we had the right level of visibility and control over our grid.
“Our automatic load transfer (ALT) systems have reduced the duration of electric service interruptions by 10 percent,”
Central Hudson Engineer, Ryan Yakush, said: “It’s a simple design that required little hardware or investment for set up, so we recognised the potential to launch the solution on a large scale.”
After successful testing, Central Hudson moved forward with a rollout of the DTT system in their northeast region. The solution has now been installed across five solar farms with sizes ranging from two to five megawatts.