When you think of a powerful electrical utility serving much of the United States, you might not think quick and agile. Traditionally, the electrical industry has required a long lead time for big new projects.
However, today’s electric company must offer expedited service – especially in hot and fast‐growing segments like the shale oil and gas industry. Here, innovation is making an impact in reconfiguring products and services that help companies connect to the grid and quickly access electrical service.
AEP, for example, offers three options for expedited service at the request of oil and gas customers, including:
- The pre‐engineered station design package, including signature drawings and purchase lists of proven stations by some of the industry’s top station designers;
- The “station in a box,” including all necessary equipment and drawings pre‐packaged and stored in a portable steel container all ready for shipment by truck; and
- The skid‐mounted substation, which taps into an existing transmission line near the business site, providing a more reliable and safer interim source of power than diesel generators.To minimize lead time for connection on a larger scale, the grid is being extended to areas of new development in anticipation of new facilities. For example, the PPL Electric Utilities Corp. proposed a $4‐ to $6‐billion transmission line that would extend approximately 725 miles, linking the Marcellus Shale production of western Pennsylvania with the population centers of New York, New Jersey and Maryland. This 500‐kV line will facilitate development and construction of any downstream facilities that would use natural gas or natural gas liquids as fuel or feedstock, and natural gas‐fueled electricity generation to replace retiring coal‐fired generation.Numerous innovations have manifested around electricity generation, transmission and usage. For an example of how early partnership with electrical utilities helped power a massive shale project in eastern Ohio, read our recent blog post. (Link to first post)
If AEP can help you with speed‐to‐market in your industry, let us know.