Photo of PSE&G utility poles and solar panels via Mr. Matté/Wikimedia

Photo of PSE&G utility poles and solar panels via Mr. Matté/Wikimedia

New Jersey-based Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) was recognized for its $1.2 billion program to make its electric and gas systems more resilient against severe weather. The utility company expanded the use of advanced technology, enabling remote monitoring and control of its electric system.

PSE&G was awarded the 2018 POWERGRID International and DistribuTECH Grid Optimization Project of the Year. The company’s Energy Strong Advanced Technologies program included the expanded use of microprocessor relays, installation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), equipment at key substations and deployment of a centralized Distribution SCADA Master Station that enables remote control and visibility of distribution circuits. This enables rapid diagnosis of circuit conditions during severe weather events.

“When Superstorm Sandy hit, it was difficult to gauge just how bad the damage was until PSE&G crews were deployed to the scene,” said Jorge Cardenas, PSE&G vice president of asset management and centralized services. “Our investment in smart grid technologies has improved our ability to assess damage during storms, prevent power outages and get the lights back on faster when outages do occur.”

Before this project, about 650,000 customers were served by an advanced technology system. Post-project, about 2.1 million customers, or 91 percent of all PSE&G customers, are now on the system and benefiting from a reduction in the number and duration of electric outages on blue-sky days and during storms.

As a result of the project, customers experience fewer power outages, and if they do experience a loss of power electricity is restored more quickly.