LineVision last week announced that its LiDAR-powered V3 monitoring system will be installed across power lines in the greater Sacramento region for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Dynamic Line Ratings (DLR) enabled by LineVision can help unlock additional capacity on SMUD’s transmission lines allowing more renewable energy sources to be added to the grid, helping the utility meet its goal of providing 100% carbon-free electricity to its customers by 2030.
The pilot project will focus primarily on power lines originating from the Upper American River Project hydropower stations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe, which have a capacity of 700 MW of clean energy and account for nearly 20% of SMUD’s customer demand in an average water year.
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The pilot project will monitor transmission assets to identify if additional capacity is available during certain times of the year and will allow SMUD to proactively alleviate renewable energy bottlenecks on the system.
“Record-setting demand for energy and changing system dynamics are tasking utilities with the challenge of how to best maintain system reliability while simultaneously transitioning how we deliver power,” said Jonathan Marmillo, Vice President of Product and co-founder of LineVision. “SMUD is at the forefront of innovative thinking on how to solve these issues and we are delighted to work with its team on this important initiative.”
“This has the potential to help unlock additional capacity on SMUD’s existing transmission lines, allowing more renewable generation assets to be added to the grid,” said Frankie McDermott, SMUD’s Chief Operating Officer. “We need innovative solutions to help us reach our zero carbon goals and we’re excited to see if this technology can help us get there.”
SMUD has committed to a carbon-free grid by 2030 and as part of that commitment, it has been working to integrate innovative solutions to modernize its transmission and distribution system. This investment in LineVision’s technology can help ensure the resilience of SMUD’s transmission assets while increasing capacity by optimizing existing infrastructure.
LineVision’s sensors collect real-time data on critical parameters of overhead power lines including line temperature, sag, horizontal motion, and anomalous motion. The data is collected utilizing a LiDAR sensor system which allows installation without having to de-energize a transmission line or use live-line working techniques.
According to several studies, congestion on power lines contributes to $8 billion in losses annually across the nation’s electric grid.