The Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC) has partnered with Advanced Microgrid Services (AMS) to help its member utility companies to improve their operations.TEC is an association comprising 75 electricity cooperatives serving 2 million homes and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Advanced energy storage
Under its partnership with the utility company, AMS will construct and operate a 200KW/h advanced energy storage system to help TEC to reduce peak demand periods.
The advanced energy storage plant will be situated at TEC’s main distribution centre in Georgetown.
TEC will use its energy storage facility to train its members on how they can maximise the operations of their grid networks using storage systems.
According to AMS, the advanced storage system will help TEC to improve its customer services by providing consumers with clean and affordable electricity generated from renewable energy, maximise the efficiency of its grid system and reduce operational costs.
The partnership with AMS falls under efforts by TEC to modernise its grid network and help its members to employ the latest smart grid and smart energy technologies to be able to deliver customer needs today and in future. [Texas city signs PPA with local power consulting firm].
The project will help the cooperative to reduce its carbon footprint and line up with clean energy policies.
Utility infrastructure upgrades
The news follows an announcement made in the last quarter of 2016 by the US Department of Agriculture that it will expand its utility assistance in rural communities.
The USDA announced $3.6 billion in loans to improve energy infrastructure in rural communities.
The loans will be made available to support the deployment of 82 projects in 31 states through the Electric Programme of the Rural Utilities Service.
The loans will be used to build and upgrade 12,500 miles of transmission and distribution lines to ensure reliable delivery of electricity in rural areas.
$216 million is available for the smart grid sector, $35 million for renewable energy, $26 million for environmental improvements and nearly $1.8 million for energy efficiency.
The funding falls under efforts by USDA to ensure reliable grid networks providing cheap electricity to consumers in rural communities and to help reduce carbon emissions, improve the quality of life and boosts economic activities in beneficiary areas.
Utility firms and cooperatives to receive the USDA energy infrastructure funding include United Electric Cooperative in Missouri, Western Iowa Power Cooperative and the Oglethorpe Power Corporation in Georgia.
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