Elster (NYSE:ELT) has formed the Smart Grid Voltage Conservation Alliance (SGVCA), a working group that seeks to accelerate the adoption and validate the business benefits of voltage conservation for utilities through the convergence of Distribution Automation (DA) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Charter members of the alliance include Smart Grid industry leaders Entergy (NYSE:ETR), Elster, ABB (NYSE:ABB) and Survalent. Quanta Technologies (NYSE:PWR) will assist the alliance in validating the business justification.
The SGVCA will focus initially on an end-to-end voltage conservation program with a two-fold goal of enabling operational efficiency for utilities and advancing the business case for voltage conservation. After the completion of an initial field study at Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., the findings will be expanded to drive commercial application for all utilities.
Reducing voltage by as little as four to six percent can result in a three to five percent increase in energy conservation, but most utilities are currently unable to effectively manage voltage variations because of the lack of visibility in the distribution area network. By leveraging the convergence of DA and AMI for voltage monitoring, utilities will be able to gain additional insight from the substation down to the customer endpoint and increase operational efficiencies through voltage conservation while extending the capabilities and advantages of AMI.
"Conservation and efficiency through voltage monitoring and management have very practical implications that will benefit consumers and utilities alike," said Mark Munday, CEO and president of Elster Solutions. "Elster has developed a commercial application for voltage conservation that is already deployed today with our EnergyAxis® AMI system and can be implemented at any utility. We look forward to leading the SGVCA and working with strong partners like ABB, Survalent and Quanta to drive this initiative."
"We are proud to work with Elster and the other members of the SGVCA to showcase the benefits of voltage monitoring and conservation," said Jon Rennie, vice president and general manager of distribution components for ABB. "ABB technology is already playing a critical role in the convergence of DA and AMI, enabling utilities to realize the true benefits of the Smart Grid. By furthering the development of voltage conservation, this initiative will empower utilities with energy and cost saving applications."
Elster currently has a range of solutions that are already in deployment for DA and AMI convergence, including load control of agricultural rice wells at Entergy Arkansas and transformer monitoring with Toronto Hydro.
Elster, ABB, Entergry, Survalent form Smart Grid Voltage Conservation Alliance