Elster has announced the formation of the Smart Grid Voltage Conservation Alliance (SGVCA), which has a mandate to accelerate the adoption of voltage conservation for utilities through the convergence of Distribution Automation (DA) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). Besides Elster, charter members of the alliance include Entergy, ABB, and Survalent. Quanta Technologies will assist the alliance in validating the business justification of voltage conservation.
Initially, the SGVCA will focus on an end-to-end voltage conservation program with the goal of enabling operational efficiency for utilities and advancing the business case for voltage conservation. The findings of a field study at Entergy Gulf States Louisiana will be expanded to drive commercial application for all utilities.
Reducing voltage by just a few percentage points can result in a three to five percent increase in energy conservation, but most utilities have so far failed to effectively manage voltage variations. According to Elster, that’s because there’s a 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.”
Mark Munday, Elster Solutions CEO and president, says, “Conservation and efficiency through voltage monitoring and management have very practical implications that will benefit consumers and utilities alike. 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.”
Jon Rennie, vice president and general manager of distribution components for ABB, adds: “We are proud to work with Elster and the other members of the SGVCA to showcase the benefits of voltage monitoring and conservation. 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 provides electricity, gas, and water measurement and control. For more information, visit www.elster.com.