Close-Out Meetings Under Way for Customer, Technology Projects
Washington, D.C. — Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) gathered this week for a two-day event to acknowledge the funding and successful completion of multiple smart grid programs. The projects were accelerated by Smart Grid Investment Grant funds awarded by the Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Executives and team members from both organizations saw presentations on the status of projects including advanced metering infrastructure, direct load control and distribution automation.
“These funds have allowed PHI’s utilities to install new technologies that will give customers a better experience and enable them to save money through energy efficiencies,” said Karen Lefkowitz, PHI vice president, Business Transformation, who oversaw the smart grid programs. “Advanced technologies will help customers’ businesses be more productive and will give them more value for their money.”
Customers in New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia are already seeing the benefits of the distribution automation program, which uses newly installed automated switching technology and communication equipment to isolate outages and restore power to customers in the vicinity of an outage almost instantly.
Customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia have also benefitted from outage notification capabilities and restoration efficiencies that the advanced meters provide.
Customers who participated in the Peak Energy Savings Credit program in the Pepco Maryland service area received over $3.4 million in bill credits last summer and helped reduce peak load by 2.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh). The typical residential customer’s monthly use is 1,000 kWh. This program was enabled by the grant and with over 60 percent participation, clearly demonstrated customer engagement and acceptance.
“Recovery Act-funded investments have spurred the deployment of next-generation technologies and tools that are being used to modernize the nation’s electric delivery system,” said Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the Department of Energy. “These technologies are helping utilities such as Pepco and others detect and minimize system problems, improve operational efficiencies, and better manage and respond to disruptions, leading to reduced outages and restoration times."
PHI has installed more than 1.4 million smart meters throughout its service territories, including Washington, D.C., Delaware and Maryland. This number includes both electric and gas smart meter equipment. DOE funds helped complete smart meter projects in the District of Columbia and Maryland.