Alliant Energy Chooses D-VAR VVO for Distribution Grid Voltage Optimization Project

June 19, 2018
Conservation Voltage Reduction is an increasingly widespread method used by electric utilities to increase efficiency and reduce peak electric loading

AMSC has announced the successful commissioning of AMSC’s D-VAR VVO system as part of Alliant Energy's voltage optimization and energy efficiency pilot program. Alliant Energy commissioned the D-VAR VVO system in its distribution grid in the state of Iowa.

“The distribution grid in Iowa was chosen as one of the pilot projects for D-VAR VVO due to the physical characteristics of challenged feeder lines in the region,” said Fred Johnston, Distributed Energy Planning Manager, Alliant Energy. “This project is expected to provide invaluable knowledge about managing the growing desire from our customers for the distribution of renewable energy and its impact on our equipment and power quality, while giving us the ability to utilize conservation voltage reduction for energy savings and peak demand reduction.”

“This project at Alliant Energy is providing critical knowledge and validation that the D-VAR VVO, when deployed on distribution feeders, can not only improve power quality and distributed generation hosting capacity, but also has the potential to provide significant customer cost benefits when deployed as part of a utility’s conservation voltage reduction strategy,” said Daniel P. McGahn, president and CEO, AMSC. “This project is expected to quantify the energy savings benefits for our customers and expand our ability to support additional renewable generation directly on the distribution grid.”

AMSC’s D-VAR VVO pilot partners are established utilities that are experiencing rapid growth of renewable distributed generation (DG) and electric vehicle (EV) charging capacity within their distribution networks. Because both renewable distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar power, and electric vehicle charging are inherently dynamic and variable in nature, utilities are now striving to enhance their distribution grid network’s capabilities to accommodate these new resources and customers, while maintaining efficiency and superior power quality. D-VAR VVO solutions offer precise and fast reactive power and voltage control to maintain utility power quality standards, while enabling growing interest in distributed generation and electric vehicles.

Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) is an increasingly widespread method used by electric utilities to increase efficiency and reduce peak electric loading on their system to reduce costs and improve reliability, with minimal impact on customers.

The D-VAR VVO helps utilities manage their power quality concerns and expands grid capacity for renewable DG and EVs.  The D-VAR VVO equipment reacts seamlessly to EV-driven rapid load changes and clouds passing or changing wind speeds across the distribution grid, minimizing the impact on electrical equipment and customers, and helping utilities meet power quality standards even as more renewable DG and EVs come on-line.  In addition, D-VAR VVO gives utilities the ability to enact widespread reduction in system voltages, on command, to execute CVR programs.  The D-VAR VVO is designed to achieve all of this with no moving parts, a minimal number of installation sites, and virtually no maintenance requirements.

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