Weather conditions affect how much power can be carried on transmission lines, and high-tech DLR sensors attached to transmission lines give grid operators like National Grid real-world information on weather and thus on the carrying capacity of lines. In simple terms, colder air temperatures and higher wind speeds cool down power lines, giving them more capacity to carry energy — conveniently enough, at the same times when high winds are increasing wind-farm power output.
Traditional “static” line ratings for transmission lines, in contrast, don’t capture these environmental factors, forcing grid operators to restrict power flows based on worst-case expectations.
This kind of real-time expansion of existing grid capacity could help overcome some major barriers to reaching New York state’s goal of getting 70 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030, said LineVision CEO Hudson Gilmer.
This looks like it could add some pretty significant additional load onto existing wires quickly. As the NY load shifts from summer to winter with electrification, getting 20% extra capacity in the winter on transmission lines would be huge wins. Hope to see this more places.