Utilities Collaborate to Improve Transmission-Related Technologies

By William Atkinson | May 11, 2021
High-voltage transmission lines pass through a pasture with livestock underneath

A number of utilities (all subsidiaries of Exelon, Chicago) working together in cooperation have won three of the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) 2020 Technology Transfer Awards for Innovation.

The annual EPRI Technology Transfer Awards spotlight the value of collaborative research to the electricity sector and recognize the leaders and innovators who have applied EPRI research to produce significant results for customers. This year, the power delivery and utilization sector received more than 100 nominations, 19 of which were recognized with awards. Exelon and its subsidiaries (Baltimore Gas & Electric [BGE], Commonwealth Edison [ComEd], Exelon Generation, PECO Energy Co., Pepco and Pepco Holdings Inc. [PHI]) won three of the 19 awards in the power delivery and utilization sector.

One award was for the “Installation of Avian Diverters using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).” Using EPRI research, BGE, ComEd, Exelon Generation, PECO and Pepco collaborated on this project to assess the potential for installing avian line markers using unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones). Since the markers were installed, there have been no birds striking transmission lines at the test site, and the companies plan to expand the project to other locations.

The second award was for “Navigating Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Criteria—Creating a Technical Interconnection Requirement for Exelon Utilities.” Here, BGE, ComEd, PECO and PHI collaborated to develop DER integration criteria as part of a supplemental project, “Navigating DER Interconnection Standards and Practices.” This effort will help customers to more easily install solar or other distributed resources in their homes and businesses.

The third award was for “Vehicle Grounding and Personal Protection of Distribution System Mobile Equipment Practices.” This involved BGE, ComEd, PECO and PHI working together to devise safe grounding practices for mobile equipment. Using an industry best practice, these grounding practices are able to protect utility employees and the public from unsafe outcomes related to accidental contact with transmission lines.

About The Author

ATKINSON has been a full-time business magazine writer since 1976. Contact him at [email protected]

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