Awards recognize utilities’ efforts to reduce energy and water waste
SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Frost & Sullivan announced the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) as the recipients of the sixth annual Excellence in Resourcefulness Awards at Itron Inspire Week.
LADWP’s partnership with Itron dates back to 2012, sprouting multiple grid modernization initiatives focused on improving load flexibility, successful environmental stewardship, and preserving resilience, all while optimizing operational efficiency. The latest smart grid on distribution automation is considered essential for supporting the city’s ambitious goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2045 and becoming carbon-free by 2035.
A lack of visibility of flexible load can have detrimental consequences to the grid. Through this project, the municipality can automate and improve the visibility of all its circuits and feeders across its substation and down to the edge of the grid network. In return, the system will ensure proper integration of solar and storage onto their distribution power network. This state-of-the-art communication infrastructure is expected to be completed in 2022. It will serve as the backbone for enabling stakeholder access to real-time and actionable data across multiple divisions, including system operators, energy demand/supply, the outage management team, planners, and engineering team. In return, this platform will ensure there is improved transparency across different divisions pertinent to grid operations.
“Access to the same and timely data across multiple utility operations is key to guaranteeing optimal long- and short-term planning processes when managing diverse load characteristics, and it ensures a quick reaction to power quality and power load inconsistencies,” said Farah Saeed, Research | Director Energy Consulting at Frost & Sullivan. “Test and review of this particular platform has been in the works for years and speaks to the strength and commitment that LADWP has for ensuring a successful decarbonization strategy.”
Water resourcefulness in Nevada has become a matter of preserving livelihoods and wildlife and reducing the risk of fires. Approximately 90% of water comes from the Colorado River, which has depleted to half of its capacity since 2020. The state is experiencing extreme weather conditions, causing 40% of the state to be in an era of exceptional drought.
LVVWD has sought to minimize the impact of climate change by improving its overall water management operations as part of a larger dialogue and collaborative approach. The organization is proactively identifying leaks by leveraging AMI technology and expanding its service capabilities for its customers. The organization has detected 5% more water loss leaks that would have otherwise gone unnoticed without an AMI system in place. The organization recently launched a mobile app that provides alerts such as “Notification of Continuous Flow” and “Excessive Leak Cases.”
“In a time of severe drought, every drop of water counts. Since deploying AMI in 2017, the water municipal has seen a 1% to 3% decline of non-water revenue losses. Furthermore, the municipal has seen significant improvements in customer service, including resolving customer inquiries with real-time data and diagnosing causes for high-usage events,” said Saeed.
As part of the selection process, Frost & Sullivan conducted in-depth research and interviews and evaluated utilities against industry best practices and the decision criteria, including societal impact and business impact for each category. Indicators for societal impact included improving customer awareness and participation, enabling behavioral change to reduce waste through customer engagement and technology-driven programs, and yielding impressive waste reduction results that benefit the overall served community. Indicators for business impact included drafting a clear vision to address excessive waste through technology implementation, achieving operational effectiveness as a result of a successful strategy for sustainability, and strengthening a utility’s brand image as a leader for sustainability.
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