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Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company expanding Volt-VAR control tests

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O G & E are expanding testing in the Oklahoma city area of integrated Volt-VAR control, with the addition of 42 circuits equipped with capacitor controllers and a further 16 circuits with automatic reclosers.

These tests are to see the effect it has on the reduction of peak demand. Previous tests in 2010 on residential circuits in Norman, Oklahoma showed that it could reduce the peak demand by up to 2.4 percent.

  Ken Grant, the Managing Director of the Smart Grid program at O G & E said that this could delay the need for new fossil fuel plants for at least 9 years, with reliability and efficiency also being improved.

O G & E have arranged a 3 year partnership with The Structure Group for its program management of the smart grid depolyment , which will mean installation of a secure wireless network, smart meters and smart equipment on their distribution system which will cut down on operational expenses and increase reliability.

6,000 residential and business customers will take part in the second half of a demand response study this year, the first half (which took place last summer) was successful in reducing peak usage for every customer segment. The largest reduction was in participants using programmable communicating thermostats on the highest peak price days.

The forecast for peak demand reductions by smart grid technology is up to 350 MW by 2017.

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