Volt-VAR control tests to be expanded at OG&E


Ken Grant,
Managing Director,
OG&E’s Smart Grid
Oklahoma City, OK, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 14, 2011 – Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E) has expanded testing of integrated Volt-VAR control (IVVC) to test its effect on the reduction of peak demand, with the addition of 42 circuits equipped with capacitor controllers and 16 circuits with automatic reclosers in the Oklahoma City area.

Results from testing in the summer of 2010 on four primarily residential circuits in Norman, OK indicated that IVVC has the potential to reduce peak demand for power from .8-2.4 percent.

"To some that doesn’t sound like much," said Ken Grant, managing director of OG&E’s Smart Grid program. "But to those of us in the utility industry it represents another opportunity to delay the need to build new fossil fuel power plants until at least 2020. Two of the key benefits for smart grid technology are improved efficiency and reliability."
In addition, last year’s test results demonstrated that IVVC produces power factor improvement during those times when demand for power is not at its peak.

OG&E is partnering with The Structure Group for program management of its three-year smart grid deployment, which includes the installation of smart meters, a secure wireless network and smart equipment on OG&E’s distribution system to increase reliability and reduce operational expenses.

This summer, OG&E is completing the second half of a demand response study with 6,000 residential and business customers to reduce peak demand. Interim results from last summer show every customer segment had a reduction in peak usage with the greatest reductions during the highest peak price days and by study participants using programmable communicating thermostats.

Peak demand reductions enabled by smart grid technology on the distribution system and in customers’ homes and businesses are forecasted to reach 350 MW by 2017.