Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

POUGHKEEPSIE – Central Hudson’s investments in the region’s electric grid to enable increasing sources of solar and other distributed generation sources are the subject of a feature in the July edition of the Electric Power Research Institute’s nationwide EPRI Journal.

The article, titled “Upgrading the Grid’s ‘Local Roads,’” highlights Central Hudson’s substantial investments in technology and features the energy company’s Director of Electric Distribution and Standards, Heather Adams, and her leadership in the field of solar connection.

“We’re very proud of the work our employees are doing to help modernize our local electric system,” said Michael L. Mosher, President and C.E.O. of Central Hudson. “Deploying new technologies and managing new processes can be challenging, and our employees are addressing these successfully. Heather Adams leads a team that designs and implements these technologies and systems, and is deserving of this national recognition.”

As is explained in the EPRI article, the nation’s electric grid was initially developed for one-way power flows, delivering energy from central generators to homes and businesses. With the advent of solar and other distributed sources, power generation now also takes place within the grid, requiring the electric system to accommodate two-way power flows. Investments in technology and system upgrades accommodate these power flows and allow greater penetration of these distributed sources while maintaining grid stability and reliability.

“With two-way power flows, the electric transmission and distribution systems must interface much more than in the past,” Adams said. “This requires an integrated, cross-functional approach to planning, and requires engineers to think differently; but this approach also accelerates innovation. It’s an exciting time to be in this industry.”

As of July 31, 2017, more than 7,300 solar systems were connected to Central Hudson’s electric system, with a combined total 67 megawatts of generating capacity. An additional 605 systems are proposed, which together would add 450 megawatts of generating capacity.

Central Hudson is also investing to add controls that will significantly reduce service interruptions caused by storms and severe weather by automating power flows, as well as improve the efficiency of the electric system in order to lower customers’ energy use.

To view the article featured in EPRI Journal, go to http://eprijournal.com/upgrading-the-grids-local-roads/.

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