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Fortnightly Magazine - January 2011

in Skagit County and its Horse Ranch substation near Everett in Snohomish County. The project upgraded PSE’s existing 115 kV transmission line to a 230 kV transmission line and installed a new fiber-optic line, improving electric reliability to utility customers throughout the region and increasing capacity of the regional bulk electric system.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas , grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market, launched its new “nodal” systems . Nodal pricing became officially binding for financial settlement and billing on Nov. 30, 2010, replacing zonal market pricing that was in place since 2001. ERCOT says the market redesign and systems upgrade will improve grid reliability, increase market efficiency, and enable transparency of wholesale energy prices.

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) selected Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories SEL-487E station phasor measurement unit (PMU) for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) Western Interconnect Synchrophasor Project (WISP). BPA plans to install approximately 160 PMUs throughout the Northwest over the next three years. SEL says its PMUs meet a strict set of system integrity protection requirements based on wide-area, time-synchronized phasor measurements, which BPA specified to meet its needs beyond the specifications defined in the IEEE C37.118-2005 standard.

American Superconductor selected Korea’s LS Cable Ltd. and France’s Nexans as the superconductor power cable subcontractors for the Tres Amigas SuperStation transmission hub being developed in Clovis, N.M.

Electric Transmission America (ETA) has signed two separate memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Exelon and MidAmerican Energy to develop two 765 kV, extra high-voltage transmission projects in the Midwest. ETA and Exelon expect to jointly develop 420 miles of 765 kV transmission lines extending from the Indiana-Ohio border west across Indiana into Henry County, Ill. Commonwealth Edison will build the $1.6 billion, Illinois portion of the project. It would be built in phases, likely between 2015 and 2018. And in the second MOU, ETA plans to jointly develop another 180 miles of 765 kV transmission that would extend from the terminus of the first project in Henry County, Ill., to Louisa County, Iowa, and then to Buchanan County, Iowa. The proposed $650 million project is expected to be operational by 2019, depending on the timing of regulatory approvals. ETA’s estimated share of both projects totals approximately $675 million, subject to final routing, design, and regulatory approvals.

EVs & Storage

Direct Energy is teaming with NRG Energy to deliver what the companies called America’s first, privately-funded electric vehicle charging solution to consumers. Initial rollout plans will deliver home and remote charging capabilities across Houston, with a broader Texas and U.S. rollout set to follow. The eVgo fueling package launched by NRG is designed to provide electric vehicle consumers with a turnkey solution for vehicle charging.

DR & Efficiency

GE Appliances & Lighting says it plans to be the first major appliance company to provide a whole-home solution for energy management. GE is developing solutions to help consumers better manage and control their energy use and costs by offering new technology such as the GeoSpring hybrid hot water heater, Nucleus energy manager, programmable thermostats, GE appliances enabled with Brillon technology