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Shaping the grid of the future at SRP’s power systems lab

SRP is now home to an innovative power systems lab that allows us to transition today’s grid into the grid of the future.

Chances are that if you look around, you don’t have to go far to see signs of the grid of the future nearby. These days, home fixtures and electronics can be controlled by voice or from an app, automation is more integrated into our lives, and renewable energy solutions are becoming more abundant.

While we are certainly up for the challenge here at SRP, we need to make sure that our grid is too. The bottom line is that reliability, security and safety are our top priorities. Beyond that, we have also committed to supporting all the ways that energy consumption, habits and technology are changing.

Back in 2020, we gave you a peek at SRP’s house of innovation, a dedicated space for our teams to test smart home technology. Fast forward a year later and we now have a fully operational 5,400-square-foot grid technology lab dedicated to evolving the grid as we know it today.

Powering the grid of tomorrow at SRP’s power systems lab

You might be wondering why we would need such a place. Primarily, this allows various teams that otherwise might not be located near each other to come together. Additionally, the lab will enable us to:

  • Test new software and hardware solutions prior to deployment
  • Troubleshoot problems
  • Meet compliance requirements
  • Test SRP’s ability to respond to various scenarios and faults in the power system
  • Expand other grid capabilities 

“Working together researching and testing new solutions means we will come to realizations quicker, find improved ways to communicate and ultimately enhance SRP’s system reliability.”

Kyle Cormier, Director, Telecommunication Systems

“It is such a tremendous development because three of SRP’s disparate labs melded together to become one cooperative space with so much more functionality,” said Kyle Cormier, Director, Telecommunication Systems. “Working together researching and testing new solutions means we will come to realizations quicker, find improved ways to communicate and ultimately enhance SRP’s system reliability.”

Excluding pandemic restrictions, the lab can accommodate up to 72 employees and has workspaces for engineers to test solutions, collaborative team spaces for research and development, and areas for configuring and staging equipment prior to field deployment. It also has a small classroom space where vendors and SRP teams can conduct trainings.

Research, develop, train

“Training is a huge area of focus for this lab space,” said Tait Willis, Director, Protection, Automation & Control. “With evolving technologies and standards and to adequately develop SRP’s engineers and technicians, we needed a central space where employees can come to learn critical practices in a safe environment.”

“We constantly strive to find solutions that help us better communicate with our mission-critical assets, which keep the power turned on for customers,” Cormier said. Though the lab won’t be running at full capacity until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Cormier and Willis are excited for the work ahead and the substantial impacts they see it having across SRP.

“We look forward to seeing how our entire organization benefits from the research and development SRP will be able to perform, as well as improved training practices that employees will be able to build a foundation from,” Willis said.

Planning for tomorrow’s grid today

SRP’s power systems innovation lab is just one way we continue to ensure reliable power for our customers. Learn more about how we’re moving forward together with our customers toward a reliable future.

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