In Central America, Panamanian power utility ENSA partnered with interactive energy platform (IEP) developer Innovari in a grid management pilot.The pilot aims to trial how the utility can use the Innovari’s technology to enhance its network management in line with the growing power demand and increased integration of distributed energy resources with the grid.
More importantly, the power utility seeks to improve the reliability of its power distribution network and customer experience with low infrastructure investments.
[quote] In a press statement, ENSA said 12 commercial and industrial facilities will participate in the 1MW IEP pilot.
The utility will use Innovari’s technology to remotely connect and disconnect power supply from the utility’s two distributed generators to the participating facilities during peak and off-peak times to ensure network reliability. [Global smart grid funding worth US$110m – report].
Grid load management
In addition to enhancing ENSA’s power network control, the solution is expected to help the utility to integrate more renewable energy sources onto the grid.
Rafael Ríos, vice president of the engineering department at ENSA, said: "One key reason we're planning to implement the IEP is to avoid power rationing during business hours that were necessary during Panama's recent energy crisis caused by the 2013-2014 drought.
"The IEP will enable us to precisely reduce load to meet real-time capacity requirements during 'super peaks,' while synchronizing and dispatching standby generators and other edge-of-grid technologies to uphold network reliability. We also see this as a valuable way to engage our customers," added Rios. [FPL installs smart grid switches to address outages].
The pilot falls under the power utility’s efforts to expand its investments in smart power networks to meet up with the country’s growing power demands of 70MW per year.
Image credit: Fast company.com