American Transmission Co. signs agreements with U.S. Department of Energy for smart grid investment grants
$12.7 million to be used to enhance smart grid within ATC footprint
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has entered into two agreements with the United States Department of Energy, accepting investment grants totaling $12.7 million to invest in smart grid technologies to be incorporated into ATC’s transmission system.
The DOE in October notified ATC that two of its applications for smart grid investment grants were selected for smart grid grant awards. The grants to ATC are among 100 made nationwide – totaling $3.4 billion – by the DOE to advance smart grid technologies.
One of the grants will be used to equip ATC substations with phasor measurement units, a new technology for monitoring the status of the grid in real time. PMUs are considered one of the most important measuring devices for the future of power systems because they provide a wider, more integrated and time-synchronized view of the system as a whole. ATC installed a limited number of the PMU devices on its system last year and evaluated their performance with a positive result. A $1.3 million grant will help ATC equip remaining substations in its footprint with the smart technology.
A second $11.4 million grant will assist in extending the use of fiber optic cable to enhance communications between ATC’s substations and its system operations centers. ATC has installed optical ground wire on a number of recent transmission construction projects. The more widespread use of OPGW that will be fostered by the grant will provide ATC with a more secure and reliable data network infrastructure. The OPGW also provides a means to transmit information from the PMUs back to the operations centers for use in system analysis.
“We are pleased to enter into these agreements and take part in the effort to more fully deploy smart grid technologies to enhance the operation of our transmission system,” said John Procario, ATC president and chief executive officer. “These projects will help improve our ability to monitor the grid and enhance the reliability of the transmission infrastructure needed to help keep the lights on.”
ATC has three years to spend the grant money. Projects are currently in the detail design phase and construction will continue into early 2013.