WATT

WATT

Working for Advanced Transmission Technologies

Decarbonizing energy is the challenge of the 2020s.

The transmission grid will make or break that effort.

To deliver affordable, reliable, clean electricity, we must actively manage the grid

With advanced transmission technologies we can:  

But in the United States, few are using Grid Enhancing Technologies.

And that means:

What is wrong?

In the U.S., grid owners have a Return on Equity business model – low-cost solutions like Grid-Enhancing Technologies don’t make a dent on their balance sheets. Without an incentive to use them, asset owners are slow to adopt these tools even as they take off in other countries. 

We can fix this.

The WATT Coalition educates policymakers and stakeholders on the value of Grid-Enhancing Technologies and the barriers to deployment. There are many ways for federal and state governments to align incentives and encourage the full utilization of the transmission grid. 

What are Grid Enhancing Technologies?

Grid Enhancing Technologies, or GETs, are hardware and software that increase the capacity, efficiency and/or safety of the transmission system. These technologies are installed on existing transmission infrastructure to give operators more situational awareness and control over the grid. 

As the nation’s grid becomes increasingly congested and constrained, GETs can reduce congestion costs and increase reliability and resilience.

Advanced Power Flow Control

Power flow control technologies actively balance the flow on transmission lines. The hardware can intelligently raise or lower the impedance, or the opposition to current, in real time to ensure that power is delivered on lines that have the capacity to carry it. Advanced power flow control expands on this function with enhancements such as faster and more flexible deployment options, easy scaling to meet the size of the need, and ability to relocate when needed elsewhere on the grid.

Dynamic Line Rating (DLR)

DLR monitors ambient conditions which heat or cool transmission lines to calculate the true capacity of transmission lines, based on their thermal limits. In windy regions where transmission capacity is critical for wind power development, DLR often allows significantly more power flow than a static rating over the course of the year, but also detects when flows should be reduced to continue safe and reliable operation in extreme heat or other conditions.

Topology Optimization

Transmission topology optimization software models the grid's network and power flow conditions to identify ways to reroute power flow around congested or overloaded transmission elements. These "reconfigurations" are implemented through switching on or off existing high voltage circuit breakers. By more evenly distributing flow over the network, topology control increases the transfer capacity of the grid.

These tools are ready to be put to use, along with traditional transmission investments and non-wires alternatives, to build a more reliable and cost effective grid for every American.

Learn about GETs in three pages or less - download factsheets

Our members

We are a coalition of companies interested in bringing technology solutions to the US electric transmission system to improve reliability and efficiency for American citizens and businesses. Read about the opportunities for these technologies and WATT’s plans here.

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