Zenergy Power plc (Zenergy) has announced that Southern California Edison Company (SCE), an Edison International company, has completed the installation of fault current limiter (FCL) into its electricity grid in Southern California. The FCL is the Zenergy’s newly developed smart grid device that helps to prevent electrical blackouts in electricity grids. The FCL is currently online and operating in real-time to provide protection to the distribution circuit of the Californian power grid.

The implication of being the first company to install and operate FCL device into US electricity grid is particularly apparent when considering the severe problems that utility companies are facing in coping with increasing power demands from consumers whilst attempting to satisfy the publicly stated demand for distributed power generation (including wind and solar power) from government authorities. Combined, these factors are leading to an increased occurrence of electrical blackouts which recent research estimates to be costing commercial businesses in US over $100 billion per annum.

As widely reported these escalating costs, along with security concerns, efficiency demands and increased renewable energy production are creating a determined and investment led effort to bring about the evolution of a national ‘smart grid’ in the United States. This ongoing investment into the development of a ‘smart grid’ represents a modernisation of the existing grid system and will see the adoption of a number of different technology devices such as the Group’s FCL that will lead to a more demand managed, efficient and stable electricity distribution system. Recent estimates prepared for the US Department of Energy have shown that a reduction in greenhouse gasses equivalent to permanently removing 53 million cars could be achieved by just a 5% improvement in overall grid efficiency. These efficiencies will also drive substantial cost savings and as such the group has been invited to work in conjunction with a number of the utility companies in the US throughout the development of its FCL and has also participated on projects funded by the Department of Energy, California Energy Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

The global market for FCLs is expected to be worth up to $5 billion per annum.