Real Time Visibility for Manitoba Hydro

Real Time Visibility for Manitoba Hydro 

Improved reliability and reduced operating expenses is provided by Tollgrade's Lightouse grid sensors. The sensors monitor line and mechanical efficiency. Manitoba Hydro Building

Tollgrade Communications, Inc., the industry leader in redefining the global standard for reliability at the world’s largest electric utilities and telecommunications providers, announced today that Manitoba Hydro is piloting the award-winning LightHouse® platform in a hosted configuration that includes integrated MV Cellular Sensors and Sensor Management System software with Predictive Grid® Analytics. The LightHouse platform is providing Manitoba Hydro with a cost-effective way to get real-time visibility allowing the utility to monitor the load at critical substations. Manitoba Hydro is a Crown Corporation and the province's energy utility, serving 548,750 electric customers throughout Manitoba. In a separate release issued today, Tollgrade announced the availability of LightHouse 4.0 with a turn-key Substation Monitoring application which they will be demonstrating in booth #3461 at the DistribuTECH® 2014 conference January 28-30.

Manitoba Hydro has confirmed that the LightHouse Smart Grid Sensors with integrated cellular communications are easy to install on the line and don’t require any ancillary equipment to be installed on the pole. The sensors are quickly providing real-time visibility into the load at the critical substations with this easy, affordable, turnkey solution. As part of its efforts to modernize the grid, Manitoba Hydro is relying on Tollgrade’s LightHouse platform to meet key initiatives on parts of its distribution network.

“Manitoba Hydro selected Tollgrade LightHouse in an RFP process that wrapped up in 2013. This deployment demonstrates Manitoba Hydro’s industry leadership in modernizing their grid,” said Edward H. Kennedy, President and CEO, Tollgrade Communications, Inc. “We applaud Manitoba Hydro’s strong commitment to making their grid smarter and more automated. By choosing LightHouse, they will be able to improve reliability and gain efficiencies in operations and maintenance activities.”

Announced at last year’s DistribuTECH conference, Tollgrade became the first company to offer Medium Voltage sensors pre-bundled with a cellular data plan. These sensors lead the industry in cost effectiveness, functionality, scalability and ease of deployment.  Since the announcement, the company has shipped sensors to nearly two dozen in the last twelve months and was recognized as the North American Smart Grid Sensor Market Share Leader by IHS Research .

The Tollgrade LightHouse platform consists of:

  • Medium Voltage (MV) Smart Grid Sensors: software-defined, inductively powered sensors with flexible cellular or Wi-Fi communications that operate all the way down to three amps. The sensors are easily installed with a “hot stick” and can be deployed on the line in a matter of minutes. Key sensor measurements include: load current, fault current, electric field strength, power factor, phase angle, sags, surges and harmonics.

  • SMS software with Predictive Grid Analytics: classifies grid events and provides the visualization and situational awareness needed to quickly respond to load planning, outages, and power quality challenges. Through a DNP3 interface, the software provides easy integration into a utility’s critical back-office systems (SCADA, Outage Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems, etc.).

Tollgrade is the only sensing solution to deliver grid visibility down to three amps through inductively powered sensors that eliminate the maintenance costs required to support battery powered alternatives. Unlike first-generation fault indicators, the LightHouse platform combines its highly accurate sensor technology with an analytics software package to classify grid conditions and assess the health of the network. The solution is used by some of the world’s largest Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and municipalities to reduce outage minutes, improve reliability metrics, balance loads and protect important assets like substation transformers.

Demonstrations at DistribuTECH 2014

Tollgrade will preview their Substation Monitoring application at their booth #3461. The company will also showcase their Smart Grid line sensors and Fault Detection application.

About Manitoba Hydro

Manitoba Hydro is the electric power and natural gas utility in the province of Manitoba, Canada that employs over 6,200 people. Created in 1961, it is a provincial Crown Corporation, governed by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board and the Manitoba Hydro Act. Today the company operates 15 interconnected generating stations. It has over 548,750 electric power customers and more than 269,750 natural gas customers. Close to 98% of the electricity Manitoba Hydro generates is produced by hydroelectric generating stations on the Nelson, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Laurie Rivers. Its installed generating capability is 5,685 megawatts with a total 2012/13 hydraulic generation of 33.1 billion kilowatt hours. In 2012/13 the corporation exported 9.1 billion kilowatt hours. This high concentration of hydro power enables Manitoba Hydro to offer low domestic electricity rates via the Nelson River DC Transmission System (Bipoles I&II) that connect northern generation to customers 900 km to the south.

About Tollgrade

With more than 200 million lines under test, millions of utility outage minutes avoided annually and 25 years of experience successfully locating faults at the world’s largest electric utility companies and telecommunication service providers, Tollgrade is redefining the global standard for reliability. Our award-winning fault detection hardware and predictive analytics software is deployed on four continents to help operators avoid network outages and reduce customer downtime. Tollgrade has been recognized as one of the Top 13 Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2013 by SmartGrid News, received the Fierce Energy award for “Substation Automation and Distribution Automation” and a Best Practice Award from Frost + Sullivan. In 2013, the company was named the Smart Grid Sensor market share leader by IHS Research, and a Platt’s Global Energy Awards finalist. Learn more by visiting