Winning Projects


CenterPoint Energy Smart Grid
Organization CenterPoint Energy
Country United States

The CenterPoint Energy (CNP) Smart Grid project’s overarching goal is to integrate smart grid technologies to make the electric grid of the future more reliable, affordable, safe and secure while integrating distributed energy resources and facilitating new energy products and services. The CNP Smart Grid integrates multiple smart grid technologies, systems and approaches to deliver reliable electric services to 2.3 million metered customers in Southeast Texas. After experiencing devastating infrastructure and reliability losses as the result of the 2008 Hurricane Ike, CNP, with the assistance of U.S. Department of Energy funding and technical assistance, invested heavily in the advancement of smart grid systems to improve grid reliability and resilience in their region. The current CNP Smart Grid was informed by previously completed pilot programs, which helped fine-tune the overall approach and implementation strategies.

The implementation of the full-scale CNP Smart Grid is composed of a set of smart grid technologies and systems, including the Advanced Metering System (AMS), Intelligent Grid (IG), Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) and a private telecommunications network. Broad participation and engagement by consumers and continuous management and justification of the economic rationale of smart grid systems have been critical elements to the success and impact of the CNP Smart Grid. For example, CNP completed cost-benefit analyses for key components of the smart grid system and has also focused on helping consumers save energy and money by facilitating such tools and energy retailer offerings as In-Home Displays (automated usage reports) and peak-time rebates. CNP Smart Grid data analytics have helped improve the situational awareness displays showing outage case details and available restoration resources in geospatial formats so controllers can more quickly and effectively identify trouble spots.

Over the last five years, CNP has deployed fully operational advanced meters to virtually all 2.3 million metered customers, automated 31 substations, installed 859 Intelligent Grid Switching Devices (IGSDs) on more than 200 circuits, built a wireless telecommunications network across the company’s 5,000-square mile electric footprint, and enabled real-time grid monitoring and control, leveraging information from smart meters and field sensors to manage systems events through the “brain” (ADMS) of the CNP Smart Grid. Key results include over 134 million customer outage minutes saved (a 20 percent reliability improvement on Intelligent Grid circuits), the restoration of over 1.5 million outage cases without a single customer phone call, millions of dollars in savings to consumers, and avoidance of nearly 12.8 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

ESS for Frequency Regulation of KEPCO
Organization Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)
Country South Korea

The”ESS for Frequency Regulation of KEPCO” project is focused on using energy storage systems (ESS) to assist in frequency regulation to improve the reliability of the power grid. The ESS utilized as part of this project allows electricity storage at large capacities and can provide rated power to the system 20 times faster than thermal power generators. The project initially began with a pilot project where KEPCO installed ESS in the form of a 4 MW power conversation system and 8 MWh batteries in the Jocheon substation on Jeju Island in 2011 to demonstrate the system capabilities in the form of frequency regulation, peak management and higher stability of renewable energy. After completing this successful pilot, KEPCO then used the information to build a larger scale ESS (52 MW) in Seo-Ansung and Sin-Yongin substations. KEPCO now has plans to integrate ESS for frequency regulation with a total capacity of 500 MW by 2017 and has already completed the construction of 236 MW of ESS. An evaluation of the 2014 ESS installation estimated a cost savings of $3.6 million from July to December 2015.

Because the Republic of Korea is located on a peninsula with water surrounding three sides, the Korean power grid system is independently operated with the rated frequency being maintained for stable operation. To prepare for grid events, such as a loss of power from a large generators shutting down, a power reserve of 1500 MW is maintained and Korea limits the output of thermal plants to 95 percent to help maintain this reserve. Korea has one of the highest levels of power quality and stability in the world; however, to compensate for this reserve, some higher cost generators need to operate at higher than optimal levels. When ESS can be utilized to reduce these reserve needs, KEPCO better optimizes the economic and environmental dispatch of power generation while ensuring reliability to customers

KEPCO’s ESS for Frequency Regulation project has provided an opportunity to facilitate a new energy industry and smart grid market in Korea. The increase in performance and decrease in cost for energy management systems, power conversation systems, and batteries, which are essential for smart grids, gave opportunities for companies to participate in this business and allowed early commercialization of smart grids. The full implementation of ESS will enable broader adoption of renewable energy sources while maintaining the reliability of the grid. In addition, KEPCO has established purchase specifications to ensure the quality of ESS installations and has created maintenance procedures and test procedures for stable operation, which could easily be adopted in other locations throughout the world. Apart from the cost savings and clean energy environmental benefits, the ESS for Frequency Regulation project stimulated the growth of new energy businesses in Korea.

Automated Impedance Fault Map Prediction for Smart Grid Systems
Organization NextEra Energy – Florida Power & Light Company
Country United States

“The Automated Impedance Fault Map Prediction for Smart Grid Systems” project is part of an overarching effort by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) to build a stronger, smarter grid and deliver the most reliable electric service in the United States. The Automated Impedance Fault Map Prediction project is focused on lowering the risk of a momentary event or outage by utilizing a state-of-the-art diagnostic center and fault mapping system for smart grid devices and systems.

Momentary power outages, or flickers, are brief power outages lasting less than one minute that can occur at any time of the day. Flickers are caused by a number of factors, including lightning strikes, damaged electrical equipment, vegetation, and animals. The flickers occur when the electric system detects interference on the power line and then shuts off momentarily to allow the system to determine if there is a break in the line. This process helps isolate the problem area and prevent damage to the grid and can prevent longer outages that effect more customers. Because the State of Florida experiences some of the highest rates of lightning strikes in the U.S., these flickers are one of the leading causes of customer dissatisfaction.

FPL has long used an impedance fault map process based on industry standards to identify the most probable locations and causes of momentary outages. This conventional fault mapping process takes more than three days to generate a fault map and this inefficient process resulted in 42 percent failure rate in detecting and predicting problem areas. In 2015, FPL deployed a number of different smart grid technologies, including automated feeder and lateral switches and fault current indicators to reduce customer interruptions. The automated switches automatically detect, clear, and isolate faults, while the indicators provide information on the faults, line disturbances and event wave form. This automated impedance fault map enables quicker and better momentary investigations providing FPL with the opportunity to proactively mitigate disturbances before they can affect customers and improves the reliability of the grid.

This project has had a significant impact on grid reliability, with a location detection accuracy rate of 85 percent, and automated response that follows the detection. FPL experienced a 35 percent reduction in”flicker” complaints as a result of these improvements. This project, in combination with other smart grid technologies and systems, has increased FPL’s reliability by more than 25 percent over the past five years. This equates to over $46 million in savings in 2015 due to the avoidance of multiple restoration trips, costs to dispatch trucks and other related costs. More than 680,000 customer interruptions have been avoided, and restoration times and customer minutes interrupted each have been reduced by 8 percent. The FPL service territory and has maintained a reliability rating of more than 99.98 percent.

Unlocking Reliable Demand
-Side Capacity in Columbia Without Adding Generation
(Selected for Special Recognition for Potential for Replication)
Organization Innovari and EMCALI (Empresas Municipales de Cali)
Country Columbia
Website Not Available

EMCALI is one of the five largest electric distribution companies in Columbia. This project focuses on the development and integration of an Interactive Energy Platform (IEP) that was used in a pilot program to optimize the integration of 1 MW in demand-side resources to help address peak load issues and stabilize the grid. The IEP involves installing a number of automated controls and management systems in commercial and industrial buildings, which then connect building system technologies within the building and can respond to signals from the grid. The platform works by engaging with customers and providing automated demand-side management response to reduce peak demand.

Columbia is a dominated by hydroelectric power, but in recent years has faced some of the worst droughts in its history, which has stressed the electricity system and worsened issues with reliability. The country has also faced natural gas shortages, wholesale generation volatility, and growing peak electricity demand. The EMCALI service territory experiences two peaks daily, year-round which adds approximately 800 peak hours a year. During the feasibility study, the IEP enabled EMCALI to automatically manage load through automated demand side management in nine commercial and industrial buildings and integrate one distributed generator for a total capacity of 1MW. In 2016, EMCALI aims to expand the 1 MW pilot to 25 MW and eventually leverage the IEP to offset the top 876 hours of peak demand (10 percent), which would offset 70 MW of generation and provide reliable demand-side capacity that is not subject to outside variables and forces like drought conditions.

As part of the pilot testing, the IEP provided utilities with an affordable capacity at half the cost of a peak-load generation plants. The IEP demonstrated that demand side resources offered the lowest-cost capacity alternative to generation and effective peak shaving capabilities. The platform also effectively engaged with customers such that participation in the program was sustained throughout the pilot. Customers realized a 6 percent reduction in energy expenses during the pilot.


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