Duquesne Light Company has partnered with LineVision to install no-contact sensors on several transmission towers across its service territory.
The pilot project, which began in July, uses real-time and forecasted dynamic line ratings to monitor transmission conductors and uncover additional grid capacity with the purpose of making service more resilient, efficient and affordable.
Earlier this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposed line rating guidelines to encourage utilities to use this technology.
Data that is gathered from Duquesne Light’s programme will help address line congestion, assess line conditions and better determine when maintenance is required.
“This project is part of our multi-year, $2.6 billion investment in innovative technologies that enable us to modernise the grid and continue meeting the energy demands of our customers,” said Josh Gould, director of innovation at Duquesne Light.
“As one of the first electric utilities to use this technology, we can unlock greater capability on our existing transmission lines while also making it easier for more generation assets, including renewable energy, to be added to the grid. We are looking forward to the many benefits this project will bring to our customers and communities.”
Line ratings are key for transmission planning and dynamic line ratings take account of factors such as wind, cloud cover, solar irradiance intensity, precipitation and/or line conditions such as tension or sag.
Dynamic line ratings are among the group of technologies, along with advanced power flow control, topology optimisation and others, categorised as ‘grid enhancing’ with the potential to optimise the transmission capability and defer more costly upgrades.
FERC proposed for its rulemaking that transmission owners should implement and update their line ratings at least hourly to share with their market operators. Moreover, the operators need to have in place the systems to receive these, which would overcome a key barrier to the wider use of dynamic line ratings so far.