California’s Glendale Water & Power (GWP) upgraded their grid to an advanced metering infrastructure network in 2011. With smart meters in place, GWP partnered with Dominion Voltage Inc. (DVI) to utilize a Volt/VAR Optimization solution to achieve remarkable energy savings through advanced grid optimization.
In 2011, the City of Glendale Water & Power deployed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) smart meters. The project yielded improvements in outage management as well as reductions in peak energy demand. With an AMI system already deployed, additional opportunities for grid improvement became available. GWP looked to leverage their AMI investment by integrating voltage data from smart meters into the circuit planning process. GWP turned to DVI with goals of:
DVI’s EDGE® platform is a software solution that helps utilities realize the full potential of an AMI system by delivering predictable, measurable and verifiable voltage optimization and energy savings by controlling voltage at the distribution circuit level.
EDGE® integrates seamlessly into a utility’s IT infrastructure and leverages existing smart meter systems. Once installed, circuit challenges and errors in circuit connectivity data are identified using the EDGE® Planner application. This provides a complete picture of circuit performance at the customer level and a basis for projected savings and reliability improvement opportunities. EDGE® then issues commands to field devices over an existing wide area network to optimize the distribution system voltage, saving energy and creating a more stable grid. Finally, EDGE® uses an application to validate actual savings by customer, without the use of forecast and modeling methods.
GWP’s pilot of the EDGE® platform placed one distribution substation transformer and 3,800 meters under EDGE® Volt/VAR Optimization (VVO) control in order to test the system and validate anticipated energy savings.
Since EDGE® does not require the installation of additional voltage sensors, the pilot was up and running quickly. DVI supplied all of the necessary IT resources and integrated the platform with GWP’s infrastructure. Once EDGE® was implemented, DVI engineers conducted a systems analysis using the EDGE® Planner application to uncover and address voltage issues and shortcomings in the grid.
From October 12, 2014 to November 19, 2014, DVI successfully took data from the company’s recently installed AMI technology as well as SCADA measurements of operational data to monitor the dynamic nature of the distribution system in real time. DVI was then able to make voltage adjustments based on that information and validate the resulting energy savings. The pilot project met all of GWP’s expectations and the original energy efficiency estimates were validated.
Within this short timeframe, the system produced energy savings of 87 Mwh, or 2.95% over the baseline (well within projected energy savings of 2-4%). DVI’s EDGE® Validator application was used to confirm the results so that a report could be generated for the city commissioner.
GWP projects that a full-scale deployment to 68,000 meters could save 14,500 Mwh each year — possibly even more. Assuming a five-year program and avoided costs of $65/Mwh, EDGE® could save GWP $3.8 million. DVI plans to continue working with GWP to take energy efficiency to the next level.
DVI looks forward to partnering with utility companies worldwide to deliver similar improvements to the performance of their grids.
“Last fall, we began our Volt/VAR Optimization (VVO) pilot with DVI. The EDGE platform promised to effectively plan, manage, and validate energy savings, and it delivered on that promise.” -Steve Zurn, GWP General Manager