US utility selects Aclara to boost grid reliability


In a press statement, NV Energy said it is implementing a smart grid project to enhance management and automation of its electricity distribution network.

The utility firm is using smart grid sensors and software developed by Aclara Technologies to remotely monitor its distribution power lines and substations in Nevada.

The project falls under efforts by the energy company to improve its smart grid system and customer services to its 1.3 million customers in Nevada.

[quote] The use of the smart grid sensors and technology provides NV Energy with real-time insight into incidents such as short circuits, circuit overloads and voltage drops.

Installation of the smart grid sensors and software is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

The project is expected to improve utility’s ranking on grid reliability. Currently, NV Energy is ranked the 10th among US utilities with the most reliable grid networks.

Pat Egan, senior vice president of Customer Operations at NV Energy, said: “This technology enables us to modernize and monitor our network in a very cost-effective way and helps us develop new approaches to prevent power outages and improve restoration time when electric system anomalies occur.”

Smart grid system reliability funding

The deal follows the release of a report compiled by the World Energy Council (WEC) which states that power utilities will need to invest between $35tn and $43tn until 2060 to meet growing energy needs.

The WEC said power utilities need to “revamp their business models or face extinction.”

“Historically people have talked about peak oil, but now disruptive trends are leading energy experts to consider the implications of peak demand,” said Ged Davis, executive chair of scenarios at the World Energy Council.

The WEC report forecasts the global demand for electricity to double by 2060.

WEC said it believes by deploying more efficient digital technologies, such as smart grids, utilities could reduce projected peak demands by 13% to 24%.

The WEC added that more renewable energy and increasing energy efficient applications could change that ratio with fossil fuels making up as little as 50% of primary energy.



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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.