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WPD Becomes First in UK to Install Outage-Mitigation Device

Utility installs S&C’s TripSaver® II Cutout-Mounted Recloser at 10 sites throughout its service territory

CHICAGO, October 27, 2020 – Today, S&C Electric Company, a leading grid innovator improving power reliability and delivery worldwide, and Western Power Distribution (WPD), a U.K.-based electricity distribution network operator serving 7.9 million customers throughout Wales and England’s Midlands and South West regions, have completed the installation of the first S&C TripSaver® II Cutout-Mounted Recloser in the United Kingdom.

Designed to significantly improve the way utilities respond to faults on power lines, the TripSaver II Cutout-Mounted Recloser is an advanced lateral, or spur, protection device. Used in place of conventional single-use fuses, TripSaver II reclosers can test whether faults are temporary and quickly restore power on those faults. With 80 percent of faults on overhead lines being temporary in nature, these devices will mitigate a significant number of customer power outages.

“It’s great to be working with S&C on this innovative pilot,” said Paul Jewell, WPD’s DSO development manager. “At a time when a lot more people are working from home, it’s more important than ever to ensure supply reliability and to keep the electricity flowing to enable them to work and stay connected to loved ones. For rural customers who are supplied by overhead lines, we hope to continue to improve network resilience and our customers' experience with the help of technology such as the TripSaver II recloser. Those customers can experience short interruptions as a result of temporary faults, and this solution helps reduce the impact of this on our wider network."

WPD’s service territory experiences various environmental challenges throughout the year that can commonly cause temporary faults, including heavy winds and rain. By responding to temporary faults quickly, the TripSaver II recloser prevents temporary faults from becoming permanent outages. This will significantly improve power reliability and customer satisfaction by reducing the duration and frequency of power interruptions.

“The U.K. is leading the way in restructuring electric utility regulatory models, and customer satisfaction has become a critical measure of utilities’ performance,” says Mike Edmonds, S&C’s chief commercial officer. “WPD has embraced these regulatory changes by leveraging TripSaver II reclosers not only to improve grid reliability but also to place an increased focus on the individual customer experience.”

In addition to improving network reliability and resiliency, WPD was attracted to the TripSaver II recloser because of its ease of use and simple installation process. The device is designed to fit into already installed fuse cutouts on the overhead distribution network, streamlining the installation process to quickly serve customers.

After collecting data from this initial installation, WPD will review the results with the intent to discuss future deployments to continue improving reliability throughout their service territory.

Expert

S&C Electric Company

Publication Date

October 27, 2020