GridSense has announced that a large Midwestern utility recently concluded a year-long pilot of the LineIQ monitoring solution for older distribution substations. During the pilot, LineIQ not only demonstrated its efficacy at providing load profile and other information to help the utility gauge substation health, but also its ability to do so at a fraction of the usual metering cost. As a result, the utility has ordered 150 LineIQ units for deployment to more than 50 sites over the next year.
Lack of substation intelligence is a major problem at U.S. utilities. Many of these substations house aging and vulnerable transformers. In order to guarantee the safety and reliability of the power supply, utilities need to monitor the transformer load profiles in order to identify substations that are at or near capacity; that is, if they're running "hot."
At approximately $5,000 for a set of 3 LineIQ Sensors and remote communications, the solution can be a fraction of the cost of many substation automation projects, which can easily run up to 20 times as much. With substation intelligence at the top of most utility's smart grid to-do lists, the market potential for this highly cost-effective application is significant.