AMSC launches volt VAR optimization solution for power distribution market

AMSC, a global energy solutions provider serving wind and power grid industry leaders, today announced that it is launching a product solution for electric utility customers at DistribuTECH—the largest annual energy transmission and distribution event in North America.

AMSC’s D-VAR VVO is a new offering, which is specifically designed to mitigate power quality issues on the distribution power grid for increased solar capacity and to support conservation voltage reduction management. D-VAR VVO not only manages current power quality concerns, but also expands grid capacity for distributed generation, reacting seamlessly to cloud pass or changing wind speeds across the distribution grid.

“Our new VVO platform is designed to help bring stability to a chaotic distribution grid,” said Daniel P. McGahn, President and CEO, AMSC. “I am excited about the launch of our VVO solution to the electric utility market. D-VAR VVO represents 15 years of experience in Volt/VAR innovation on the transmission network now formatted to stabilize modern distribution networks. This is a testament to our commitment to providing the world with smarter, cleaner, better energy, and our mission to enable utilities to keep on beat with consumer trends, such as residential solar and electric vehicles.”

D-VAR VVO optimizes power electric grids at the distribution level, providing the essential flexibility and responsiveness needed as electric grids evolve towards a distributed generation (DG) architecture. DG refers to electricity generation within the distribution system itself, as opposed to the stream of electricity generated from centralized power plants, which is delivered to substations via the transmission grid and then delivered to customers via the distribution grid. Sources of DG include biomass, wind turbines, solar (photovoltaic, PV) panels and electric vehicles.

Through September 2016, solar represented 39% of newly installed electric capacity in the U.S. according to the Solar Energy Industry Association.  In 2015, annual sales of electric vehicles grew by approximately 60% worldwide, which, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, is the same growth rate that annual sales of the Ford Model T grew in 1910, displacing the horse and buggy. While DG is becoming ubiquitous as a result of the “clean” energy movement, the power grids devised and operated by utilities were not built contemplating the resultant effects of DG such as bi-directional flow, intermittent output during cloud pass, and the rapid adoption of electric vehicles. As a result, the electric grid now requires modernizing solutions to mitigate the related voltage concerns.

D-VAR technology is able to detect and instantaneously compensate for voltage disturbances by dynamically injecting leading or lagging reactive power into the power grid. Globally, D-VAR systems have been used to support utility-scale renewable generation to meet grid interconnection regulations, and help grid planners reduce voltage stability problems and optimize transmission and distribution networks. D-VAR VVO is designed as a solution to cost-effectively optimize power quality within the distribution system.

D-VAR VVO is designed to mitigate the power quality issues that often result from DG adoption at a specific, pole-mounted location on a feeder system, supporting neighborhoods, not individual households.  This allows for the stabilization of distribution lines, while maintaining installation flexibility to alleviate site-specific DG power quality concerns wherever they arise. Additionally, D-VAR VVO systems can be tailored to meet unique customer needs and are scalable to accommodate changing grid conditions.

AMSC is dedicated to enabling sustainable energy sources like DG to continue to grow, while helping utilities maintain power grid efficiency, resilience, and reliability. These new loads and generation are being added to the grid every day, creating an environment in which responsiveness and orchestration are key to keeping the beat of the grid.  D-VAR VVO and its Resilient Electric Grid solution are examples of how AMSC is innovating to meet the needs of this changing grid environment. 


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