Schneider Electric has strengthened its collaboration with San Antonio-based CPS Energy, the nation's largest municipally-owned electric and gas utility. Together, Schneider Electric and CPS Energy are developing a distribution automation strategy that will improve system reliability, allowing CPS Energy to deliver consistent power quality and support greater energy efficiency.
CPS Energy serves a fast-growing territory with many large, high-profile commercial and industrial users. Coordinating any distribution system changes with these demanding customers is challenging. Additionally, the CPS Energy system has different distribution voltages, varying types of equipment and is completing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployment. Integrating a distribution automation strategy in this diverse operational environment presents further challenges to CPS Energy and Schneider Electric.
"By leveraging Schneider Electric's extensive utility and power engineering expertise, we are able to better analyze and understand the current position of our resources and make the most informed decisions," said Paul Barham, SVP energy delivery services, CPS Energy. "Not only does this help us improve our operations, planning and strategy, it enables us to focus on our core business: keeping the lights on for our customers."
Across the country, aging infrastructure, a rapidly retiring utility workforce, significant increases in energy usage and a rise in distributed energy resources (DER) have altered the market landscape, forcing utilities to evolve to address these new challenges. Schneider Electric's Utility Consulting Services provides counsel on utility strategy and planning, financial analysis and regulatory issues, as well as technical roadmaps and evaluations across the utility space.
Driven by a team with deep utility sector expertise, including former utility executives, field service personnel, planners and professional engineers, Schneider Electric offers utility consulting services that provide support and counsel around grid modernization, DER integration, microgrid planning, grid resiliency and distribution reliability.
"Today's utilities face enormous pressure to comply with government regulations and supply safe, reliable, high-quality electricity at a reasonable cost to their customers – all while addressing challenges like aging grid infrastructure and a decline in experienced workers," said David L. Wood, director of utility consulting services, Schneider Electric. "We're proud to work with utilities like CPS Energy, providing them access to top-tier energy experts who can help them expand their planning capabilities and address pressing challenges such as increasing energy useage and the rise in DERs."
Schneider Electric's Utility Consulting Services is part of Schneider Electric's Smart Utility offerings, designed to help utilities manage growing demand, decrease emergency response time, integrate more green energy into the grid and improve power quality and availability expectations from control center to customer. Through this suite of solutions and services, Schneider Electric assists utility customers looking to improve electrical reliability, minimize capital expenditures, reduce operating costs, meet regulatory requirements and enhance worker safety.