PPL Electric Utilities proposes a smarter grid for Harrisburg area


David G. DeCampli,
President, PPL
Electric Utilities
Allentown, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 4, 2009 – PPL Electric Utilities is proposing a $38 million project to pilot the use of smart grid technology to strengthen reliability, save energy and improve electric service for 60,000 customers in the Harrisburg area.

The project, which has been proposed to the U.S. Department of Energy, would enable PPL Electric Utilities to move power more efficiently, react instantaneously to changes on the delivery system and automatically reroute power around problems that occur.

“Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since the electric delivery system was installed,” said David G. DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities. “This project would help introduce Thomas Edison to the 21st century.”

PPL Electric Utilities would partner with Drexel University and technology leaders GE Energy, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Alcatel-Lucent if the project is approved for funding.

The improvements would be concentrated in 150 square miles of the company’s delivery system. Hundreds of new electrical devices would be installed. A new centralized computer system linked to these devices would track and respond to changes on the delivery system as they happen.

The new technology would allow the company to operate its power lines at optimal voltages, meaning customer appliances would use less electricity to do the same functions. This could save customers in the project area about $1.5 million a year on their electricity bills.

The new system would also quickly detect and isolate problems that cause outages.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, provides electric delivery service to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania.