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Slovenian ELES and Smart Wires collaborate to unlock the full capacity of grids

Slovenia’s Transmission System Operator, ELES and global power technology company Smart Wires have announced a joint agreement which will see ELES’ dynamic line rating (DLR) technology combined with Smart Wires’ power flow control solution to unlock the full capacity of transmission grids. The projects are expected to commence in early 2021.

The two technologies offer compelling synergies as DLR can identify which lines have available capacity and power flow controllers can then intelligently route power to those lines.

ELES expects that the technology implemented within the cooperation with Smart Wires will help them to actively optimise network power flows and resolve operational constraints while saving customers millions of euros and ensuring the delivery of major projects.

The companies anticipate a series of collaborative ventures on different sites. ELES’ technology, SUMO DTR (dynamic thermal rating) cost-efficiently monitors and predicts weather conditions along the whole line to calculate a transmission line’s real-time rating. This technology allows the transmission operator to use higher line ratings without endangering safety or reliability. It requires no physical installation of sensors on the conductors.

Since some circuits reach their maximum rating while others are well below their limits, balancing power flows can eliminate constraints and improve network transfers. Smart Wires’ SmartValve technology can push the power off lines that are overloaded or pull power onto lines with spare capacity. Unique from legacy forms of power flow control, SmartValve is a modular solution which means it is quick and flexible to install and easy to scale or relocate.

“Combining these rapidly-installed and low environmental impact technologies is the next logical step in grid innovation as our industry solves problems that facilitate the energy transition,” said ELES’ Director of Strategic Innovation, Uros Salobir.

Smart Wires’ Vice President for European Business Development, Mark Norton highlighted that they followed ELES’ journey with great interest over the last few years.

“We recognized the extremely complementary nature of DLR with our technology and saw ELES’ unique strength, being both a transmission system operator and a developer of grid technology,” said Mr Norton.

Grid-enhancing technologies can wring more capacity out of existing electric transmission systems and help unlock stalled renewable energy projects. A recent report found that the widespread deployment of these technologies in the US on a national scale could produce 5 billion dollars in annual energy cost savings while reducing carbon emissions by 90 million tons per year.

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