Energy department awards $3.9M to Peak Reliability

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VANCOUVER — The U.S. Energy Department said Wednesday it has awarded $3.9 million to Vancouver-based Peak Reliability as part of a larger initiative to improve the reliability and resiliency of the nation’s electric grid.

Altogether, the Energy Department awarded more than $10 million for six projects in Washington, California, Hawaii, Missouri and North Carolina. The money will go toward the deployment of advanced software to better detect rapidly changing grid conditions and improve daily grid reliability.

Peak Reliability serves as the reliability coordinator in 14 Western U.S. states, British Columbia and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico. The company will use the $3.9 million award, coupled with its cost-sharing contribution of $4.8 million, to use synchrophasors — devices that measure the electrical waves on an electricity grid — to develop automated controls and to improve the quality and delivery of grid-condition data.

The idea is to prevent power outages before they happen and to quickly respond to changing grid conditions without disruption.