El Paso Electric Smart Grid Project

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El Paso Electric, located in El Paso, Texas, will receive $1 million in funding to develop a smarter energy grid. The U.S. Department of Energy selected El Paso Electric as one of 100 companies to receive stimulus funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[2]

El Paso Electric Company’s (El Paso) Distribution Automation project involves installation of new switches, relays, reclosers, fault locators, and sensors to address two needs: 1) the Van Horne phase involves faster restoration for customers served by a radial transmission line that is subject to outages during bad weather, and 2) the Santa Teresa phase involves improving distribution service to a relatively isolated group of industrial and residential customers. The equipment installed as part of this project provides automated reaction to system outages allowing for more rapid response to grid disturbances. A communications system integrates real-time data from grid monitors with the grid operator’s distribution management software platform. El Paso expects these upgrades to improve reliability and power quality and reduce truck rolls for grid maintenance, operating costs, and emissions.[3]

Equipment

  • Distribution Automation Equipment for 8 out of 250 Circuits
  • Distribution Management Systems
  • Distribution Automation Communications Network
  • SCADA Communications Network
  • Automated Distribution Circuit Switches
  • Smart Relays
  • Circuit Monitors/Indicators

Targeted Benefits

  • Improved Electric Service Reliability
  • Reduced Costs from Equipment Failures and Distribution Line Losses
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Reduced Operating and Maintenance Costs
  • Reduced Truck Fleet Fuel Usage

References

  1. ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants
  2. 2.0 2.1 El Paso Electric Award
  3. Project Information Page