Southern Company and DOE Show New Technology to
Enhance Reliability of Electric Transmission System
March 16, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall
Birmingham, Ala: Southern Company today demonstrated
a new technology at its Power Coordination Center
in Birmingham, Ala., as a top Department of Energy
(DOE) official attended the dedication ceremony. The
technology, trade-named GenVARR(TM), provides new,
real-time calculations of generator reactive power
reserves to operators of electric transmission systems,
allowing them to increase the reliability of electricity
delivered from power plants to customers across large
Kevin Kolevar, Director of the DOE's Office of Electricity
Delivery and Energy Reliability, observed the GenVARR(TM)
application in use. Hosting Kolevar was Andy Dearman,
Southern Company's Chief Transmission Officer.
During the past two years, Southern Company and the
DOE have worked together in a cost-shared technology
research partnership. Through this partnership, Southern
Company and the DOE developed software capable of
providing utility operators with timely updates of
generator reactive power reserves using real-time
data from electric generating plants. Reactive power
reserves must be sufficient to prevent localized outages
from expanding into wide-area events or blackouts.
Traditional methods for determining reactive power
reserves rely on design data which may overestimate
the amount of reserves actually available.
To address this problem, Southern Company developed
a system to query, retrieve and analyze plant data
for determining the Generator Volt Ampere Reactive
Reserve based on actual system conditions, thus helping
transmission system operators to take appropriate
actions to ensure reliability. The GenVARR(TM) technology
will allow utilities nationwide to enhance the reliability
of their electric grids.
"Through our partnership with the Department of Energy,
we have developed a new technology that has far-reaching
implications," said Dearman. "User feedback has indicated
that GenVARR(TM) will be a widely used and extremely
valuable product to the transmission system operating
and planning community. We're looking forward to continuing
our partnership with the Department of Energy as we
work to expand application of this new tool."
In his role with DOE, Kolevar leads the development
and implementation of national policy pertaining to
electric grid reliability; management of research,
development, and demonstration activities for "next
generation" electric grid infrastructure technologies;
and leads federal efforts to help ensure and secure
the reliable flow of energy. As Southern Company's
Chief Transmission Officer, Dearman has management
responsibility for all transmission functions and
organizations within Southern Company.
With 4.3 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts
of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company
(NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the
Southeast, one of America's fastest-growing regions.
A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company
owns electric utilities in four states and a growing
competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics
and wireless communications. Southern Company brands
are known for excellent customer service, high reliability
and retail electric prices that are significantly
below the national average. Southern Company has been
listed the top ranking U.S. electric service provider
in customer satisfaction for seven consecutive years
by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Visit our Web site at www.southerncompany.com.
SOURCE Southern Company