PPL: Smart Grid to improve reliability - abc27 WHTM

PPL: Smart Grid to improve reliability

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PPL Electric Utilities is moving forward with the next phase of the Smart Grid System.

Almost three years ago, 10 Smart Grid communication towers were installed in Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Many were installed at existing sub stations. Antennas placed on utility poles throughout the region communicate back real time information to the towers, which is then sent to the operating system.

"It has taken it to another level," said Michael Godorov, senior project manager at PPL. "We get more information back from the device itself, more information about what is happening in the system and that is the beauty of it."

The $38 million project is supported by stimulus money, and the company says they have seen a 38 percent increase in reliability.

"There's an ability to understand how much load is on a line, and understanding how much load is on that line, we are able to move that load somewhere else so that we more efficiently use our circuits and provide energy to our customers," said Godorov.

The next step is to install the management system which will allow the Smart Grid to do automatic switching during a power outage.

"The system will know where the fault occurred and will switch my lines in and out to make sure a good amount of customers stay in service," said Godorov.

The management system will be installed by the end of 2014. Customers should see improvement by 2015.

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