Large Southwest IOU Partners with Ampacimon to Achieve FERC Order 881 Compliance

Apr 2024
GridBoost logo with a sunset, powerlines and wind turbines

Ampacimon secures a contract with a large Southwest IOU, pioneering the implementation of Adjusted Ambient Rating (AAR) solutions to meet FERC Order No. 881 compliance, enhancing transmission capacity and paving the way for future grid modernization. Leveraging a decade of expertise and real-time wind data, Ampacimon's tailored approach ensures compliance and offers a roadmap for integrating Dynamic Line Rating Systems (DLR) to meet evolving energy demands.

As the nation’s electric utilities plan for FERC Order No. 881 compliance, we are excited to announce that we’re among the first vendors to win a contract to provide Adjusted Ambient Rating (AAR) solutions to a large U.S. IOU as part of their compliance strategy. The project is the result of collaborative planning and extensive testing and will enable the company to achieve compliance ahead of the Order’s July 2025 deadline.  

FERC Order No. 881 requires all public utility providers to implement AAR on their transmission lines to monitor and optimize line capacity. AAR calculates the maximum load capacity on each line by continually gathering and analyzing line condition and real-time weather data. Using AAR, utilities can gain roughly 1% capacity on existing overhead transmission and distribution lines with each 2° Fahrenheit decrease in ambient temperature. FERC 881 aims to reduce transmission congestion and improve line efficiency by frequently adjusting line ratings, thereby revealing capacity that can be safely utilized. The solution also meets the Order’s reporting requirements.

Our customer, the oldest and largest IOU in the region, has over 5,900 miles of transmission lines spanning 115 line segments, and 6,300 megawatts of generating capacity. Known for its dedication to evolving and modernizing its grid assets, the company provides clean, affordable, and reliable service to its 1.3+ million customers. Ampacimon’s proven line assessment, testing, and strategy process enabled the utility to define its AAR strategy efficiently. Starting this spring, Ampacimon will assist in the implementation of its GridBoost sensors across the company’s entire transmission network. In addition to FERC 881 compliance, we anticipate that the utility will achieve a 40% increase in transmission capacity, easing line congestion and providing an opportunity to connect new energy sources to the grid.  

Charting The Path to Compliance

FERC Order 881 is new territory for utilities, and there is a huge learning curve as utilities work to meet the mandate. Ampacimon brings a decade of experience with advanced line optimization solutions and the intricacies of regulatory guidelines. Our approach and technology are proven globally and is the most robust solution on the market. For this customer, we leveraged our experience to define and test a solution that meets their specific needs while achieving compliance. Working together, we developed a deep understanding of the unique aspects of their infrastructure and designed and tested a solution to meet 881 requirements now and provide opportunities for efficient upgrades to DLR in the future.  

Ampacimon’s Unique Advantage: Real-time Wind Data

For this utility, situated in one of the warmest parts of the U.S., it is important to incorporate wind data in the rating calculation since their peak load is during the sizzling summer months when AAR gains are lowest.  

Ampacimon expects to complete the utility's AAR implementation within a year of this spring’s project commencement, which will make it among the first utilities in the nation to achieve FERC 881 compliance.  

Looking Ahead

Though Ampacimon’s focus is AAR in this use case, the company is one of the world’s leading providers of grid-enhancing technologies, such as Dynamic Line Rating Systems (DLR). It’s widely known that FERC Order No. 881 is only the first step in improving line capacity in the U.S. The FERC is also working on a future mandate to use DLR to further improve the capacity and safety of the grid. Ampacimon AAR solution is DLR-ready and provides a roadmap to compliance with future FERC mandates.  

Neil Chatterjee, Ampacimon board member and former commissioner and chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded: “DLR and AAR technologies significantly improve overhead transmission and distribution line capacity and serve a key role in improving grid capacity on the nation’s existing infrastructure. Adoption of AAR and DLR technologies will help utilities get maximum value from existing infrastructure and start their journey to smarter, more adaptable power networks to meet the growing energy demands of our nation.”