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Automation Technologies Improve Catalina Island”s Power Microgrid

Emerson automation technologies to help maintain grid stability

Located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is home to about 4,000 people but hosts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Because of its isolation from the mainland, it relies on an independent “microgrid” to provide reliable power to the island.

To help manage the multiple sources of electric generation that feed the island”s microgrid more efficiently, Southern California Edison (SCE) will use automation technologies from Emerson Process Management, a global business of Emerson.

Catalina Island”s Pebbly Beach Generating Station is both an electric generating station and a liquefied petroleum gas distribution facility. Emerson”s Ovation™ control system will help SCE manage six diesel generators, 23 microturbines and a battery storage system, as well as the island”s LPG plant and water treatment and desalination facilities.

By giving SCE operators a concise view of all generating assets, the system will help them determine the most efficient way to meet energy demands while reducing environmental impact. Emerson”s SCADA technology will also help them maintain stable grid voltage while enabling rapid response to changes in demand caused by fluctuations during the tourist season.

“Catalina Island has always operated as a microgrid because of its location, but now we see these types of projects becoming more prevalent elsewhere,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson Process Management”s Power & Water Solutions. “Whether it”s balancing a variety of alternative and traditional fossil assets, or isolating high-value areas or facilities from the effects of a power outage, our team has the experience and expertise to help manage the nuances of microgrid operation.”

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