PNM Uses smart grid technology to provide more reliable electricity

2016-09-26 - TD World magazine article - September 2016
Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is investing in smart grid technology to deliver more reliable electrical service to the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S., and surrounding areas.

PNM tapped into the expertise of POWER Engineers to develop the specification for the design and installation of a static var compensator (SVC), which is a system of electrical devices that regulate voltage by controlling reactive devices in the range of +250 MVar to -100 MVar. POWER also provided support for the protection and controls of expanding PNM's Rio Puerco Switching 345-kV switching station where the SVC was installed.

PNM's investment at the switching station allows it to maximize its existing transmission systems and to simplify operation of its systems by eliminating several complex tools and procedures to address voltage limits.

The project lets PNM use its northern New Mexico transmission system to deliver remote generation resources from the Four Corners area to PNM's native load customers and network transmission customers, reducing the need to use load-side generation in the Albuquerque area for voltage support. The project additionally improves PNM's ability to stay in compliance with the planning and operating standards of both the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and Western Electricity Coordination Council.

POWER performed studies for PNM to determine the SVC main system ratings. These studies included power flow, transient stability and system harmonic measurements and analysis. The ABB Group designed, manufactured and installed the SVC addition. POWER also served as the PNM owner's engineer on the project from the selecting of contractors through to energization. POWER provided technical and design review, and its subsidiary POWER Testing and Energization provided final testing and commissioning services.

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