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Linemen News: August

News Highlights from the Electric Power Industry.

New Fecon BLACKHAWK Mulcher Head Designed for Knife Tools

Fecon introduces the BLACKHAWK knife-tool mulching head, which quickly and efficiently shreds standing vegetation and processes material on the ground. Designed specifically as a knife tool mulcher, every aspect of the BLACKHAWK, including rotor diameter and size, ratio of knives to rotor, cutting chamber, even the hydraulic lines, contribute to maximize its production capacity. >> Read more

NC Electric co-op modernizes with smart utility network from Sensus

North Carolina has a proud history of innovation and advancement dating back to the Wright brothers and their historic first flight near Kitty Hawk in 1903.

EnergyUnited AMI Technician Terry Lippard installs a new Sensus Stratus meter as part of the co-op’s modernization efforts to enhance member service.

This culture of innovation also lives in the electric cooperatives that deliver power to North Carolina’s rural communities. Electric cooperative EnergyUnited, for example, continues to find new opportunities for innovation in its service to nearly 110,000 members in 19 counties across western and central North Carolina. >> Read more

Florida approves utility storm protection plans; analysts advocate measures beyond undergrounding

The Florida Public Service Commission on Monday approved agreements authorizing storm protection plans (SPP) for four investor-owned utilities, clearing the way for billions of dollars in system hardening investments including the continued undergrounding of power lines and other equipment.

While moving distribution assets underground can help make them more resilient to storms and other disasters, experts say it must be done carefully–with an eye towards making equitable investments that have broader grid impacts. >> Read more

NRECA, DOE to showcase diverse uses of storage technology with 4 battery installations

The adoption of new technology and innovative solutions for grid resilience aren’t limited to the realm of large utilities with substantial funding, according to NRECA.

“Energy storage could be a game changer” for energy resilience in rural settings, Khair said. “Sometimes it’s not a big battery, but a 90 kW battery that will ensure a customer can keep their lights on.”  >> Read more

Several companies have announced new energy projects in Texas, including three utility-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS), and a solar farm that will benefit customers in the western part of the state.

The projects were announced August 19. In addition, officials in Houston on Wednesday said they have awarded a contract for a microgrid that will provide backup power for one of the city’s water purification plants. The project is considered the largest microgrid supporting a water-pumping plant in the U.S.

And American Electric Power (AEP) on Tuesday said its subsidiary AEP Renewables has completed the purchase of Invenergy’s interests in two wind farms in the state. >> Read more

Six Investing Trends Reshaping Power and Utilities Sector Despite COVID

Investors in the global power and utilities sector embraced agendas that created long-term value during the first half of this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the world. Recent activity points to several interesting trends that will likely persist in a post-crisis world and may even accelerate change in the sector, new analyses from global consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) suggests.  >> Read more

1.5-MW Georgia Tech microgrid project ready for operation in Atlanta data center

The Tech Square Microgrid addition to the ATL1 data center was announced by owner DataBank. The 1.5-MW capacity system was developed by a partnership including utility Georgia Power, parent company Southern Co.’s R&D division, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and DataBank.

The microgrid employs three power resources: a dual-fuel gas and diesel generator, energy cells and battery storage. It offers backup power in case of power failure and a standalone source which can help during costly peak load periods. >> Read more

PPL selling UK assets and focusing purely on U.S. utility biz

Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp. wants to sell its United Kingdom utility business and focus on its U.S. operations.

PPL’s plan to be a pure U.S. utility holding company was announced after its board of directors completed a strategic review looking into business mix and future growth opportunities.

PPL expects to find a strong buyer for its Western Power Distribution subsidiary in the UK. >> Read more


Be Prepared. Think Safety.