Pennsylvania smart toolkit


By: SGN Staff


Smart grid projects


PJM synchrophasor technology deployment project

PJM Interconnection (PJM) and 12 of its member transmission owners are deploying synchrophasor measurement devices in 81 of its high-voltage substations and are implementing a robust data collection network. This project complements existing equipment to provide the necessary information technology infrastructure and wide-area monitoring and coverage of the PJM system to support further development of more advanced applications. The project is aimed at improving electric system reliability and restoration procedures, and preventing the spread of local outages to neighboring regions. The project deploys phasor measurement units, phasor data concentrators, communication systems, and advanced transmission software applications. These devices increase grid operators’ visibility of bulk power system conditions in near real time, enable earlier detection of problems that threaten grid stability or cause outages, and facilitate information sharing with neighboring control areas. Access to better system operating information allows PJM engineers to improve power system models and analysis tools for better reliability and operating efficiency. Get details >>


PECO Smart Future Greater Philadelphia

PECO’s Smart Future Greater Philadelphia project includes deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation assets. AMI supports new electricity pricing programs for customers and pilot programs, such as in-home devices that provide energy information and energy usage control. Distribution automation helps PECO improve service to customers and reduce energy loss by managing circuit voltages. These systems help PECO improve operational efficiency and service quality for customers. Get details >>


WECo Smart Choices project

The Wellsboro Electric Company (WECo) project involves the installation of advanced metering systems and a pilot program for in-home displays. The project is aimed at reducing overall energy use and operations and maintenance costs while improving distribution system efficiency and reliability. The project implements two-way communication to: (1) allow customers to view their energy consumption at their convenience through in-home displays and energy web portals, and (2) allow WECo to monitor outages and tamper detections. Serving one of the poorest communities in Pennsylvania, WECo is planning a large energy education campaign using radio spots and informational booths to help customers use the new technologies to reduce their electricity consumption and lower their bills. Get details >>


FirstEnergy smart grid modernization initiative

FirstEnergy’s smart grid modernization initiative includes deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation assets, time-based rate programs, load control, and customer systems in New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. AMI for residential and commercial customers enables two-way communication and helps customers manage energy use and bills. Distribution automation includes capacitor and regulator controls and feeder switches. Direct load control devices are being deployed to reduce peak demand. The project also includes a statistically rigorous consumer behavior study to assess load impacts and customer acceptance of time-based rate programs. Get details >>


PPL smart grid project

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation’s smart grid project includes new equipment to automate distribution circuits integrated through the installation of new grid communications and control systems. New automation equipment is being installed at 10 distribution substations and 50 distribution circuits in the coverage area. The project focuses on upgrades in south-central Pennsylvania, largely in the vicinity of the City of Harrisburg. The distribution automation equipment enhances system reliability through better protection and faster response and isolation of outages, while simultaneously lowering costs for operations and maintenance of the system. An additional objective is to improve the voltage for delivered electricity, reducing customer usage and deferring the need for additional power generation capacity in the region. Get details >>


East Penn Manufacturing grid-scale energy storage demonstration

East Penn Manufacturing will design and construct an energy storage facility consisting of an array of UltraBattery modules integrated in a turnkey Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). In addition to the UltraBatteries, the BESS will include a power conditioning system, a master programmable controller, and a battery monitoring system. The completed energy storage system will be designed to sell up to 3 MW of frequency regulation to PPL EnergyPlus, a designated load-serving entity within PJM. In addition to frequency regulation, the system will provide demand management services to Met-Ed during specified peak power periods. These services will provide up to 1MW for 1 to 4 hours to meet the requirements of PA Act 129. Get details >>


Aquion Energy demonstration of sodium-ion battery for grid-level applications

Aquion Energy and its partners will demonstrate a low cost, grid-scale, ambient temperature sodium-ion energy storage device. The energy storage chemistry in this device uses an electrochemical couple that combines a high capacity carbon anode with a sodium intercalation cathode capable of thousands of deep discharge cycles over extended periods of time. The proposed aqueous sodium-ion technology includes the use of thicker electrodes, less expensive separator and current collector materials, and the use of benign materials for electrodes and electrolyte salts. This project will progress the work from bench-scale to pilot-scale enabling multiple ampere-hour cells to be manufactured and assembled into test batteries. Aquion plans to site units between 10 kWh and 100 kWh capacity that have the ability to perform medium to long duration (more than 2 hours) charge and discharge functions with greater than 95 percent DC-DC efficiency. The units will be safe and environmentally benign. Testing will characterize the energy storage capacity of the units, the response to various signals, compliance with utility interconnection standards, battery and power conversion system efficiency, and effectiveness under various cycles typical of the applications being validated. Utility application-level testing will test the functionality of the unit with respect to its ability to respond to external control signals and properly interact with electric grid in carrying out relevant sequences. The pilot line will be commissioned for production at the end of the project. Get details >>


Beacon Power 20 MW flywheel frequency regulation plant

Massachusetts-based Beacon Power will design, build, and operate a flywheel energy storage frequency regulation plant at the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania. The plant will provide frequency regulation services to grid operator PJM Interconnection. Beacon’s technology uses flywheels to recycle energy from the grid in response to changes in demand and grid frequency. When generated power exceeds load, the flywheels store the excess energy. Get details >>


Energy news and trends


EV-friendly Northeast states link up

Transportation, energy and environmental officials from 10 Northeast states and the District of Columbia are joining forces in the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network, a bid to bolster economic growth and support the region’s leadership in the clean energy economy while reducing its dependence on oil and emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Read more at Earth Techling >>


Pennsylvania clean energy industry endangered

According to the environmental advocacy group Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), the administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has been putting the state’s clean energy jobs and businesses at risk by making cuts to programs that save money and support the clean energy economy. To counter this direction, PennFuture has launched a comprehensive effort they call the Campaign to Protect Clean Energy and Pennsylvania Jobs. Read more at Earth Techling >>


Utilities differ on energy mandates

Two electric utilities with customers in eastern Pennsylvania are taking different positions on revising state energy laws requiring them to purchase power from alternative energy sources and encourage customers to conserve energy. Read more at >>


East Penn's advanced batteries play key role in solar energy storage project

East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., and its subsidiary Ecoult, announces the launch of Public Service Co. of New Mexico's (PNM) Prosperity Energy Storage Project in Albuquerque, NM. This project integrates an Advanced VRLA (Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid) and UltraBattery energy storage solution with a separately installed 500 kW solar plant. Its purpose is to provide simultaneous voltage smoothing for consistent energy levels and peak shifting to deliver energy when it's needed the most. Read the press release >>

Web resources


Office of Energy and Technology Deployment

Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

Energy Development Authority

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Pennsylvania Clean Energy Committee

Pennsylvania Solar Energy


State energy contacts


Office of Energy and Technology Deployment

PO Box 8772
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8772

Phone: 717.783-0540
Fax: 717.783.2703

Dave Althoff
717.783.0542 fax: 717.783.2703

James Stoner
Energy Program Specialist
717.772.5991 fax: 717.783.2703




Private Companies

Duquesne Light Co

Metropolitan Edison Co

PECO Energy Co

Pennsylvania Electric Co

Pennsylvania Power Co

PPL Electric Utilities Corp

UGI Utilities Inc

West Penn Power Co

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