Oct 16, 2023
Team of employees receives Innovation Award from Public Utilities Fortnightly
ALLENTOWN, Pa., Oct. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of PPL Electric Utilities employees, led by Sal Salet, vice president of Distribution Operations, has been recognized for innovative, industry-leading work that has helped improve the safety, reliability and affordability of electricity delivered to PPL Electric's more than 1.4 million customers.
The employees received Public Utilities Fortnightly's 2023 Charles Steinmetz Top Innovator Award in Grid Operations for groundbreaking additions to its distribution system that have become gold standards in grid modernization. Salet's team was recognized for a series of innovations that have automated processes and improved the safety, reliability and efficiency of the electric grid. Those innovations include:
- Smart grid technology: A combination of state-of-the-art automated sensors and switches, coupled with an advanced software system, that acts instantly to reroute power around a trouble location and reduce the severity of an outage to the smallest possible area. The innovation has allowed PPL Electric to prevent more than 1.4 million customer outages since 2015.
- Downed power line detection technology: A public safety improvement that uses harmonics on high-voltage wires to identify downed power lines and automatically power them off.
- Wooden pole inspection program: A first-of-its-kind inspection program that enables data-driven determination of pole strength and reduces the overall cost of pole inspections, which benefits customers.
- Distribution Protection Analysis Toolkit (DPAT): An automated system that routinely checks settings on the power distribution network, enables the overall system to work more efficiently and helps prevent unnecessary service disruptions.
- Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS): It has helped maximize the amount of renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, that can be connected to the grid without costly infrastructure upgrades. More than 4,500 distributed energy resources, such as solar panels, have been added to our electrical system in 2023, a 224% increase over what was added during the same period in 2022.
The award was presented at Public Utilities Fortnightly's Top Innovators conference held Oct. 10-12 in Washington, D.C. Joining Salet on the award-winning team were: Bashar Jarrah, manager of Operations Engineering and DER Management; Aliesha Dombroski-Diamond, supervisor of Operations Engineering and Energy Resource Management; Arun Doodnauth, supervising engineer; and Ian Mears, support engineer.
"This award recognizes the work we have done and continue to improve the safety, reliability and affordability of the electricity delivered to our more than 1.4 million customers," Salet said. "I couldn't be prouder of how our organization is never content to stand pat. We're always looking for new ways of innovating for the customers who rely on us so much to power their lives."
For more information on the awards, visit pufinnovators.com.
PPL Electric Utilities delivers safe, reliable and affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in eastern and central Pennsylvania. It consistently ranks among the country's best utility companies for reliability and customer satisfaction. PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer and an active supporter of the communities it serves. It is a part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies. Visit pplelectric.com or connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for energy efficiency tips, bill help information, guidance on shopping for an electricity supplier, storm updates and more.
Public Utilities Fortnightly is an association made up of approximately 250 utilities, industry organizations, utility regulators, government agencies, vendors, professional firms and advocacy groups. Since 1929, it has served the electric and natural gas utility industry as the magazine for commentary, opinion and debate on utility regulation and policy.
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PPL Electric Utilities
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