Catch up on trends in the high voltage industry with this week's news digest from around the web. Here are some of the top headlines from this past week.
Construction Begins on 162-Mile Transmission Line
Construction has begun on a multimillion dollar, 162-mile transmission line for Minnesota-based Otter Tail Power Company and North Dakota-based Montana-Dakota Utilities. The line is set to be operational in 2019 and cost between $293 million and $370 million. The new line will be able to more easily transmit power from renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, and once it's up and running, customers will notice increased reliability and capacity.
Read more from the Farm Forum
Heat Is On, but the Power Grid Is Holding
The retirement of coal and nuclear power plants in the U.S. over the last few years has raised concerns that the electric power industry might fail to deliver when demand for power heightens — such as during a blistering heat wave. PJM’s forecasts of peak demand this summer falls well within the 184,000 megawatts of installed generating capacity in the system that serves Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, among other states. While some local disruptions have occurred, the bulk power system has been running relatively smoothly. One big reason for the smooth transition is that new capacity is keeping up with the losses of old power plants.
Read more from the USA Today
PGE Gets New $660M Power Plant Running in the Nick of Time
Portland General Electric said the Carty Generating Station in Eastern Oregon went into service on Friday, allowing the utility to avoid at least one complication with the troubled new natural gas power plant. PGE needed to have Carty online by August 1 to begin recovering its investment in the 440-megawatt plant through ratepayers. If it didn’t meet that deadline, the utility faced the prospect of having to go back to regulators with a new rate case.
Read more from the Portland Business Journal
FirstEnergy Transmission Unit Moves Forward
FirstEnergy recently said that the company is making good progress on transferring much of its wires assets into a stand-alone transmission unit, Mid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, or MAIT. On June 19, Metropolitan Edison, Penelec, JCP&L, FirstEnergy Transmission and MAIT made filings with FERC as well as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The entities are seeking to move their transmission assets to MAIT, a unit of FirstEnergy Transmission. This effort is in connection with FirstEnergy’s “Energizing the Future” initiative that involves upgrading and strengthening the power grid to meet the future demands.
Read more from Electric Light and Power
Toledo Edison Continues Work Underground in Downtown Toledo
Toledo Edison is completing the installation of two additional underground transformers, two control boxes and other projects to enhance service reliability for its customers in downtown Toledo. This work is part of the company's nearly $800,000 investment in its electric system in downtown Toledo this year.
Read more from Transmission and Distribution World
LG&E and KU Seek Approval to Create Community Solar Field
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company have requested permission from the Kentucky Public Service Commission to develop a community solar facility in Shelby County. If approved, the subscription-based Solar Share Program would include construction of a regional facility for the utilities’ residential, business, and industrial customers interested in sharing in local solar energy and receiving solar energy credits generated from the facility. The Solar Share project will be built in 500-kW sections based on customer interest. Construction will begin once a 500-kW section is 100 percent subscribed.
Read more from Power Engineering
PPL Electric Utilities Introduces Automated Power Restoration System
A new automated power restoration system is turning the lights back on for PPL Electric Utilities customers in minutes, even before a work crew has made repairs. The system led to shorter power outages for thousands of homes and businesses in two recent rounds of thunderstorms. The PPL smart grid uses advanced technology that includes pole-top sensors to detect outages, a central computer that quickly analyzes the problem, and remote-control switches that reroute power and restore many affected customers to service.
Read more from Electric Light and Power