Oct 25, 2021
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (Oct. 25, 2021) – PPL Electric Utilities has won a pair of awards from two different nationally recognized utility industry institutions — The Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC) and Public Utilities Fortnightly — for its innovative vegetation management to reduce outages and use of dynamic line rating (DLR) technology to achieve transmission system optimization.
“Through innovation, we’re continuously improving reliability of service and creating more value for our customers,” said PPL Electric Utilities President Steph Raymond. “These awards are testaments to the hard work and dedication our team puts into providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service for our customers.”
PPL Electric Utilities continues to work to provide the electricity service that powers its customers’ lives. Innovative strategies, processes and use of technology — like its improved vegetation management program and creative use of DLR technologies — allows the company to keep the lights on and provide increased value to its more than 1.4 million customers.
The 2021 Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC) Achievement Award
The AEIC selected PPL Electric Utilities as a winner of one of its 2021 AEIC Achievement Awards — the organization’s most prestigious annual honor — for revolutionary work in vegetation management.
Trees are a leading cause of outages for electric utilities. Within PPL Electric Utilities’ 29-county service territory, it’s estimated that about 34% of distribution outages over the past five years were caused by trees contacting overhead wires. By using a new approach that leverages data analytics and other new technologies, PPL Electric Utilities has found ways to trim and remove the right trees at the right times across 28,000 miles of overhead distribution lines to help prevent outages.
Identifying trees likely to cause outages is almost like looking for a needle in a haystack. However, this new method, which PPL Electric began using in 2020, has led to efficiencies in scope selection, planning and execution of work. That has led to improved reliability, despite an increase in more severe weather, without increasing overall vegetation maintenance costs.
“By using data and analytics in this new way, we are able to determine trouble spots before they become trouble,” Raymond said. “Fewer tree-related outages, coupled with our increased investments in grid automation, have allowed us to make our service more reliable than ever.”
Public Utilities Fortnightly Top Innovator Award
Additionally, Public Utilities Fortnightly has named PPL Electric Utilities as a Top Innovator for 2021 thanks to its industry-leading use of dynamic line rating technology on its transmission lines.
By using smart sensors that collect real-time information, like wind speed and line temperature, operators can relieve transmission congestion and increase the electricity sent over those lines. PPL Electric Utilities has been recognized for its leading-edge approach to integrating DLR into core operations and using data from the sensors to make prudent investment decisions.
Normally, line ratings are taken when transmission lines are built, but these ratings do not account for continually changing environmental factors. Should demand increase, operators may be unable to increase the amount of electricity due to those initial ratings. At that point, owners of the transmission lines would need to invest in upgrading or adding more lines, which results in costly construction.
Thanks to the way PPL Electric Utilities is using DLR technology, the utility can increase electricity delivered over already existing transmission lines, thereby decreasing congestion and saving millions of dollars in the process.
Founded by Thomas Edison and his associates in 1885, AEIC is the electric utility industry’s longest-serving and preeminent association. Today, AEIC’s members work closely together to share knowledge and provide guidance to the industry essential to achieving a modernized grid that delivers a secure energy future for all. To learn more about AEIC, its technical committees, and member companies, visit https://aeic.org/.
Public Utilities Fortnightly is the forum for stakeholders in utility regulation and policy. Member organizations debate the best course for the public interest. Founded in 1928, it was created to provide a neutral platform for key stakeholders to contribute to the conversation surrounding regulatory and policy issues without outside agenda or bias. For more information about Public Utilities Fortnightly, visit https://www.fortnightly.com/.
PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and ranks among the best utility companies in the country for customer service and reliability. PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer in the communities it serves. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). For more information visit www.pplelectric.com.
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PPL Electric Utilities