Jamaica Public Service makes headway with distribution system updgrade


Blaine Jarrett, vice-president for engineering at Jamaica Public Service (JPS) told the Jamaican Gleaner that the distribution system upgrade will take place in phases,  and includes the deployment of new infrastructure on the power grid.

“One element of the system upgrade project involves the standardisation of the voltage at which power is transmitted from JPS substations,” Jarrett said.

“By having more of our main power lines transmitting at the same voltage level, we are better able to transfer loads if there is a problem on one power line. This will provide several benefits for customers, including a reduction in the number and duration of power outages.”

Jarrett added that the system upgrade will support the utility’s Smart Grid vision, as it will incorporate the roll-out of technology that supports greater automation on the grid.

He believes that the project will maximise the benefits of distribution automation switches, which are now being installed. These switches, he said, will facilitate automatic fault isolation and supply restoration, and enhance troubleshooting capabilities.

“This will reduce the need for extensive manual checking and switching of lines, and allow us to respond more quickly to problems on the system,” Jarrett said.

“The completion will involve extensive work on the main and lateral lines to fully integrate the upgraded feeders.”

The Jamaican Gleaner noted that JPS crews have been working since late 2016 on the main power lines connected to the Duncans and Martha Brae substations in Trelawny, the Roaring River substation in St Ann and the Hope substation in St Andrew, which is scheduled for completion later this week.

Jamaica and US collaborate to reinforce grid networks

In June this year, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS)  announced that it was planning to develop an energy storage system under efforts to stabilise its grid network during peak periods.

According to a statement issued by the utility firm on its website, a 24.5MW energy storage plant will be constructed at the company’s sub-station at the Hunts Bay Power Plant.

The energy storage plant will combine low-speed flywheel and lithium-ion battery energy storage technologies into a single system. JPS says it will use the plant to store electricity generated from solar and wind energy resources and integrate it into the company’s energy distribution system during times when energy demand is high. Read more…

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