Hydro One has selected IBM and Telvent for a new smart grid project that will upgrade Ontario’s electrical system. The companies will run simulations and tests to determine the smart grid technologies that have the potential to best improve power efficiency and reliability.
Installed in the 1950s, many components of Ontario’s current electricity distribution system have reached the end of their service life. That plus technological advancements, provincial governmental policy, and increased environmental concern have combined to make the upgrade necessary.
Hydro One Vice President of Asset Management, Rick Stevens, notes, “As equipment on our distribution system ages, it needs to be replaced. This creates an opportunity to create a world-class network with new, intelligent and sophisticated technologies to meet the changing needs of our customers. Our collaboration with IBM and Telvent will help Hydro One assess the next generation of distribution equipment and make the right choices for our customers looking for more reliable electricity, particularly in rural areas.”
Hydro One reports that the Advanced Distribution System (ADS) project will help “identify and assess equipment, test new delivery models for electricity, validate the costs and benefits anticipated with a new smart grid and recommend changes to cost effectively modernize Ontario’s distribution system. The project intends to enable an increased amount of Distributed Generation into the grid as well as help increase the reliability of the current distribution system and improve outage management during large scale situations.”
By taking advantage of the new data sources, Hydro One will be able to optimize energy utilization and management for greater efficiency while meeting customer demand.
Guido Bartels, IBM’s General Manager of Energy & Utilities Industry and Chairman of the Global Smart Grid Federation, adds: “Utilities around the world are investigating new smart grid technologies to help solve complex challenges caused by an aging infrastructure and increasing demand. Together with Hydro One, we are paving the way for transformation by testing new sophisticated monitoring and control technologies that will enable the integration of renewable energy in the distribution grid while improving its reliability and responsiveness, and ensuring customer satisfaction. This will prepare Hydro One and the province of Ontario for further growth and deliver more affordable and reliable renewable energy for Ontarians.”
Hydro One services more than one million residents of Ontario with the vast majority of its rural customers in low-density areas. The utility has 120,000 km of distribution lines over a rural service territory covering 75 percent of the province.