T&D World Magazine

El Paso Electric Implements First Phase in Smart Grid Program

With the testing and commissioning phase successfully completed, El Paso Electric has added automated fault detection, isolation, and restoration capabilities to feeders in its Santa Teresa, New Mexico, service territory.

El Paso Electric has embarked on a key smart grid project to implement distribution automation, funded partially through a smart grid stimulus grant agreement signed with the DOE in April of this year. The second phase of the project, slated for 2011, will include a Distribution Management System with feeder automation for the Van Horn region in EE's Texas service territory.

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

The utility is using the FASTapps feeder automation platform from Efacec Advanced Control Systems. FASTapps (Feeder Automation and Substation Technology applications) is a flexible substation-based solution for network performance, reliability and efficiency through self-healing feeders. Features include:

  • FASTapps adapts to any abnormal network configuration in real–time – no pre-defined scripts or programming is required.
  • Works with existing switches, controllers and protection schemes - leveraging existing infrastructure.
  • Expands easily to a large number of feeders or devices.
  • Slashes restoration times to less than 20 seconds, dramatically improving key performance indices.
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