Power management company Eaton announced it is working with utilities to fortify the grid against the wildfire threats. The company’s comprehensive approach includes immediate methods for reducing wildfire risk over wide areas, cutting-edge technologies to support smarter and more resilient power distribution, and research and development investments that will advance modernization through innovative and field-proven strategies.
Fortifying the electric grid against the threat of wildfires has never been more important. Research shows wildfires impacted an average of 7.6 million acres across the U.S. each year from 2014 to 2018. Utilities are accelerating wildfire prevention efforts. Speed, intelligence, and cost-efficiency are critical enablers of a more resilient grid.
“Combatting wildfires is a critical concern across the U.S. and around the world,” said Jon Wehrli, president, Power Systems, Eaton. “To help address this challenge, we’re working directly with utilities to implement site-ready solutions that strengthen the electric grid.”
Eaton’s traditional and widely used solutions for utility distribution systems, including fuses, switchgear, transformers, and voltage arrestors are being widely deployed for wildfire mitigation. For example, Eaton is helping utilities replace traditional fuses that can cause a spark when they interrupt a fault with industry-exclusive expulsion-free fuses or fuses that incorporate containment technology. Additionally, Eaton underground power system solutions, including switchgear, can help utilities reduce risk by moving electric power lines underground.
Further, Eaton is helping utilities have better insight into grid performance through intelligent solutions that improve grid automation and control through high-fidelity data, analytics, and the ability to remotely isolate areas with high risk. These solutions include:
- CYME software solutions that are now in use by all the major utilities in California to provide intelligence into grid conditions
- GridAdvisor optical sensors that provide accuracy and precision of both voltage and current monitoring
- Intelligent reclosers and relays designed to automate grid isolation and management to mitigate imminent risks
Eaton also continues to invest in research and development efforts to advance grid modernization and address climate change. In partnership with utilities, government organizations, research labs, and industry organizations, Eaton is innovating, testing, and deploying new approaches to complex customer challenges. For example, Eaton is pursuing research and development initiatives that enable enhanced grid services and improve reliability in distribution systems with high solar penetration.
To learn more about how Eaton is helping utilities create a more resilient electric grid, visit Eaton.com/gridmodernization.