S&C Electric Company has announced it helped utilities avoid more than 2.4 billion customer-outage minutes in 2017. The total demonstrates how S&C's grid-reliability solutions have reduced the duration and frequency of power outages for utility customers around the world over the past year.
Along with the announcement of its 2017 reliability numbers, S&C is also releasing its first annual "State of Commercial & Industrial Power Reliability" report, which provides insights into commercial and industrial customers' perspectives on their power reliability.
Key findings will be shared with S&C customers and visitors at the 2018 DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio. The full report will be made available to the public following DistribuTECH.
"2017 has shined a spotlight on the impact power outages have on customers of all sizes. When we help a utility avoid a power outage or get the lights back on faster, we are helping people around the world avoid a bad day and get back to business," said Mike Edmonds, S&C president - U.S. Business.
"But our work isn't done. S&C's latest research shows that outages continue to have a significant impact on utilities.
“As a company, we will continue to push the industry and regulation forward in an effort to reduce the significant economic impact of power outages worldwide," Edmonds added.
According to the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, power outages cost the U.S. economy approximately $79 billion a year, with 98 percent of the economic impact affecting commercial and industrial customers.
For S&C's "State of Commercial & Industrial Power Reliability" report, over 250 energy managers of commercial and industrial businesses across the U.S. were surveyed to gather their perspectives on power reliability and future energy needs.
Averaging $4 billion in annual revenues, these companies comprise the majority of the metered revenues for the utilities that serve them. Their opinions authentically represent the industry's current conditions, and their long-term needs heavily influence the future grid.
Key findings from the S&C reliability report include:
- 25% of companies experience power outages at least once a month.
- 71% of commercial/industrial customers own or plan to develop alternative energy sources, supplementing their current provider's generation and power reliability.
- 67% of commercial/industrial customers believe major events (weather and generation loss) and outages lasting less than five minutes, which aren't currently tracked by the industry, should be factored into reliability measurements.
"While research shows grid reliability is improving, the customer's perspective isn't always accounted for," said Edmonds. "What we learned through this research is that customers continue to see significant impacts from power outages, and they want to raise the bar for how power reliability is measured."
S&C will also debut a variety of new innovations at DistribuTECH 2018 that will help utilities better understand rising customer expectations and solutions that can address them. These launches include:
- The S&C Microgrid Experience, a three-dimensional demonstration that allows visitors to better understand how an S&C microgrid brings together distributed energy resources, energy storage, and intelligence to keep the lights on for customers in a variety of situations, and how microgrid controls ensure an adaptable, cyber-secure system.
- The new addition of an external trip feature to S&C's IntelliRupter® PulseCloser® Fault Interrupter. This new feature enables utilities to use S&C's PulseClosing® Technology instead of traditional reclosers in substations to protect expensive power transformers.
- A next-generation overcurrent control for S&C's Vista® and Vista® SD Underground Distribution Switchgear. This new control allows customers to easily program and access control data through the convenience of a Web browser and eliminates the need for routine maintenance.