El Paso Electric Company’s (El Paso) Distribution Automation project involves installation of new switches, relays, reclosers, fault locators, and sensors to address two needs: 1) the Van Horne phase involves faster restoration for customers served by a radial transmission line that is subject to outages during bad weather, and 2) the Santa Teresa phase involves improving distribution service to a relatively isolated group of industrial and residential customers. The equipment installed as part of this project provides automated reaction to system outages allowing for more rapid response to grid disturbances. A communications system integrates real-time data from grid monitors with the grid operator’s distribution management software platform. El Paso expects these upgrades to improve reliability and power quality and reduce truck rolls for grid maintenance, operating costs, and emissions.
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