WATT Coalition Launched to Get More out of the Grid

November 09, 2017 by Paul Shepard

A new coalition is stepping up to help upgrade the nation’s transmission network. Coalition members are gathered for a workshop at the Idaho National Laboratory to discuss technology deployment opportunities.

Launched today, Working for Advanced Transmission Technology (WATT) brings together a group of leading technology companies who have developed the tools and processes that can make our grid more reliable, flexible and cost-effective.

“We have technologies that can bring tremendous benefits to business and households,” said coalition Chair Todd Ryan of Smart Wires. “The question is whether we can put the right incentives in place so that utilities who deploy them will share in the rewards. That will be our goal.”

WATT will be working to promote the deployment of advanced power flow control, dynamic line ratings, topology optimization, and potentially other technologies that can deliver more energy to customers over existing grids.

“We’ve been encouraged by the support from regulators, grid operators and transmission owners. We see an important role for WATT to engage these groups and inform them about the compelling benefits of advanced transmission technologies,” said Hudson Gilmer, Vice President of Genscape and Chair-Elect of the coalition.

"Various advanced technologies now exist that enable utilities to increase the flexibility of the existing network of electric transmission lines, or the grid, as it is commonly referred," said Dr. Keith Lindsey, President of Lindsey Manufacturing Co, a founding member of WATT. "Our next generation dynamic line rating system, SMARTLINE‐TCF, is one example. It informs a utility — hours or days ahead of time — how much power a transmission line can actually carry."

Forecasts provided by the SMARTLINE‐TCF system enhance the traditional, fixed, line capacity rating that utilities around the world use when operating their grid. "The effect is to replace the network of fixed capacity transmission lines with a living, breathing, network that reflects actual capacity," said Jack McCall, Vice President at Lindsey.

"The WATT coalition is very pleased to have Lindsey as one of our founding members," said Rob Gramlich, Executive Director of WATT. "Lindsey's long‐standing dedication as an advanced solution provider to the industry is a real asset."