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- Mechatronics @ Work: Insight & Technology Solutions
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| December 13, 2012
Improved Power Delivery in Puerto Rico
Foxboro I/A Series technology helps Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority meet operations and sustainability goals.
Invensys Operations Management (iom.invensys.com), a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the manufacturing and infrastructure operations industries, has completed a major control systems and technology upgrade at 12 Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority sites. With 5,839 MW of generating capacity, PREPA is one of the largest public utilities in the United States and the sole provider of electricity for 1.5 million customers in Puerto Rico.
Under the terms of an agreement signed in 2010, Invensys supplied its Foxboro I/A Series distributed control system, including its new Foxboro Control Software solution, to help PREPA diversify its production capabilities and become more nimble as it begins to add renewable energy to its power mix. Invensys also provided field service and start-up support, as well as design, testing and implementation services, including access to its Power Center of Excellence in Foxboro, Mass.
PREPA’s total production capacity is expected to grow to 6,719 MW by 2014. As a result, it has undertaken a multi-phase initiative to expand gas firing at all its generating plants, which will reduce air emissions, drive down the costs of other fossil fuels and spur wider economic benefits for the island. Additionally, in order to meet new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hazardous air pollutant criteria, Puerto Rico’s Energy Diversification Law states that 12 percent of PREPA’s total output will have to come from renewable sources by 2015. The number increases to 15 percent by 2020 and to 20 percent by 2035. PREPA’s current modernization initiative will provide the company with an automation infrastructure that will make it much easier to integrate renewable fuels into its power production line.
“We recently initiated a long-term strategy to expand the use of natural gas and renewable fuels at our generating plants, which required modern systems and technology,” said Jose Mulero, chief engineer, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. “Invensys Operations Management’s Foxboro I/A Series control technology, particularly its Foxboro Control Software, gives us the flexibility we needed to complete dual fuel conversion at all our targeted units, and we can do it sooner and with fewer costs. Because of the open nature of the technology, Foxboro solutions will help us provide reliable, cleaner energy in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner, as well as meet our long-term strategic objectives and comply with future regulations.”
“Our Foxboro DCS and Control Software offerings perfectly illustrate our commitment to innovation and open technology,” said Gary Freburger, president of Invensys Operations Management’s systems business. “Power companies are facing new, ever-more complicated challenges, even as their equipment and workforce continue to age. Instead of continuing to make like-for-like replacements or undertaking a major end-of-life installation in an attempt to meet these challenges, many of our customers, like PREPA, are choosing to modernize their existing systems. That can be the most cost-effective transition to improving real-time plant efficiencies and profitability. We are pleased to serve as PREPA’s trusted partner and excited about the value we are able to deliver to them and their customers.”
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