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    Montana PSC opens investigative docket for T&D efficiency


    July 15, 2021 - July 15, 2021

     

      On July 13th, the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) voted unanimously to open an investigative docket to examine the role of advanced conductors in helping reduce Transmission and Distribution (T&D) line losses, quickly add substantially more capacity to the grid by reconductoring on existing structures, and improve wildfire resilience by using the low-sag characteristics of the advanced conductors. “I want to thank my colleagues on the Commission in joining me in this action to examine how innovative technologies, like advanced conductors, can be used in Montana to benefit the electric consumer, the environment, and the grid”, Commissioner Pinocci stated following the Commission action. “With this investigative docket, we can gather information from utilities, advanced conductor providers, electric consumers, and other interested stakeholders to guide any policy actions we may consider for how we encourage deployment of advanced conductors in Montana and how we can quickly increase the capacity and efficiency of the Montana T&D system.”

      Based on the record developed in this proceeding, a T&D energy efficiency policy may be considered as well as guidance for other uses of the advanced conductor technology. An early draft of a T&D efficiency policy also included a conductor standard that would require any conductor used in a transmission or distribution project to have an electrical resistance at least 10% lower than the conventional ACSR conductor of the same diameter. Applying this standard would guarantee that any T&D capital project that moved ahead in Montana would substantially increase the energy efficiency for that project and of the grid above that which would have occurred with the inefficient conventional conductor. Commissioner Pinocci stated that he was “excited about opening this investigative docket where we can look into the potential for substantially increasing the capacity on the major power line running from wind-rich Montana to markets to the West that need much more renewable energy.” He added, “This investigation holds the promise of substantial benefits for Montana citizens, and could shine a light on actions that other states could take to increase the efficiency of their T&D system, reduce carbon emissions, and provide increased reliability and resilience to the grid.”

      ####

      For more information, please contact:

      Commissioner Pinocci
      Randall.Pinocci@mt.gov
      406-444-6166

      or

      David Townley
      Director of Public Policy
      CTC Global Corporation
      dtownley@ctcglobal.com
      818-416-4745

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