The project includes benefits that are beginning for 60,000 customers in Cumberland and Dauphin counties, and support for the three-year project included a $19 million federal stimulus grant, according to a news release.
There already are examples of the system shortening outages for local customers now that equipment supporting the smart grid is installed, the release states. The technology strengthens reliability by detecting problems and routing power around issues.
Upgrades also will allow the utility to operate at slightly lower voltages, and many appliances will use less electricity to perform the same jobs, the release states.
Some capabilities of the distribution management system, such as improved voltage regulation, are under development and will be added later.
The company plans to install distribution automation technology in roughly half of the 29-county coverage area of PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania by the end of the decade.