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60,000 consumers in south-central Pennsylvania won’t notice any immediate changes – because nobody notices when the lights stay on – but their electric service is about to become more efficient, reliable and consumer-friendly as PPL Electric Utilities launches a smart grid project that includes GE’s (NYSE: GE) world-class distribution management system. GE’s network management software gives PPL Electric Utilities new ways to “see” and control the status, performance and interaction of equipment throughout its grid. With the ability to see and fix potential problems before they occur, PPL Electric Utilities can minimize the frequency and duration of power outages.
“From smart grid technology innovations to rebates, incentives and education, we are always driving new ways to improve performance for our customers,” said Martha Dodge, senior director of smart grid projects for PPL Electric Utilities. “The smart grid improvements we’re making will deliver real benefits for the customers who count on us each day.”
GE’s distribution management system, recognized throughout the world for its ability to improve electric service, was initially developed for the United Kingdom, where it controls more than 80 percent of the distribution grid. This software system is a key element of GE’s companywide commitment, called Grid IQ, to modernize the world’s infrastructure and make the smart grid smarter. The economic and lifestyle benefits can be profound, as power interruptions and disturbances cost the U.S. economy approximately $80 billion each year.
“Electric infrastructure upgrades, like PPL Electric Utilities’, can deliver dramatic advantages to a region,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of digital energy for GE Energy Services. “More reliable, efficient and cleaner energy creates a more attractive environment for businesses and consumers – spurring economic development and improving lifestyles.”
GE’s network management software collects and analyzes information from across the power grid to control the flow of electricity in response to ever-changing demand. Some of its major accomplishments include:
• Outage management technology that can determine the source of a power outage and automatically route electricity around it – minimizing the number of customers affected.
• Grid efficiency technology that balances the loading of power lines in response to real-time power needs – reducing wasted energy, while also minimizing the stress on costly capital assets.
• Renewable energy integration solutions that make it easy to tap into the clean power generated by rooftop solar panels and local wind turbines – reducing Pennsylvania’s CO2 emissions that come from electricity generation.
About PPL Electric Utilities
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, provides electric delivery services to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States.