EPRI unveils initiative to improve system efficiency

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA - The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) disclosed plans for an industry-wide “transmission efficiency” demonstration collaborative that will identify technologies leading to greater efficiency in the bulk power system, an increase in system utilization and a reduction in line and equipment losses.

The initiative’s goal is to improve efficiency and stem losses of electricity that would otherwise flow to the end user. T&D losses account for about 300 billion kilowatt hours in the United States, and reducing such losses will allow utilities to generate less power and thereby lower the industry’s carbon footprint.

The collaborative is outgrowth of efforts by EPRI, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), independent system operators and leading utilities to identify and implement best practices in the United States and abroad to make transmission systems more efficient.

“Improving the technology and efficiency of the transmission system is a key component in developing a smarter national grid,” said Arshad Mansoor, vice president of EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization sector. “This collaborative will go hand-in-hand with on-going efforts to extract new efficiencies — from generation to end-use — throughout the entire industry.”

The initiative comes on the heels of six meetings by key stakeholders in the United States and one in Poland that identified the best practices and the technology improvements necessary to bolster bulk power efficiency. In August, an executive committee of those stakeholders approved the recommendations during a Washington meeting hosted by FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.

“This is a timely initiative in that it comes as the government and industry work together to improve the efficiency of the transmission system,” said Wellinghoff. “Clearly, implementing new technologies on the bulk power system would benefit both the industry and consumers, while at the same time, reducing the sector’s carbon footprint.”


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