New Zealand utility implements smart grid technology


Dr Julian Elder,
Chief Executive,
WEL Networks
Hamilton, New Zealand — (METERING.COM) — December 2, 2008  – With the goals of improving power reliability for consumers and adding more renewable energy, such as wind and solar to the grid, WEL Networks of Hamilton, New Zealand, is implementing smart grid technology.
The technology from GE includes the company’s outage management software, which will help WEL reduce outages and more quickly restore power when outages do occur. Eventually, this smart grid solution will work in conjunction with smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure to provide real-time knowledge of the grid’s status.

"Power reliability and quality are two key factors behind our decision to implement this distribution management system (DMS)," said Dr. Julian Elder, chief executive of WEL Networks. "The DMS system also will help us integrate renewables, which will help reduce New Zealand’s overall carbon emissions and provide more secure levels of supply on a regional basis."

This project supports the New Zealand government’s goal of carbon neutrality and generating 90 percent renewable electricity by 2025, from 70 percent today.

Traditionally, electricity has flowed one way, from a power station to the customer. As more renewable energy is generated by alternative sources, power will enter the network from multiple locations. GE’s DMS provides the utility with live information about the network to help manage the distribution of renewable energy.

WEL Networks is an electricity distribution company that owns, develops and maintains the electricity network of lines, cables, substations and associated infrastructure. Its network connects 82,000 customers to the national transmission and generation facilities and is the fifth largest electricity utility in New Zealand out of a total of 28 utilities.