Today, at its annual Convention and Expo in Hollywood, Fla., the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) named British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) and Hydro-Québec joint winners of the 2010 Edison Award, the electric utility industry’s highest honor, recognizing outstanding leadership, innovation and exceptional contributions to the American and international industry. A panel of former electric company chief executives selected BCTC and Hydro-Québec for their joint submission, earning the two Canadian utilities the 83rd annual award.
"Partnerships are great for business, and the electric utility sector is no exception," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "Technological innovation works toward the industry’s goal of creating a more reliable grid. There seems to be a bright future for the LineScout Technology, and I am very proud of the energy put forth by these two companies to bring this achievement to light."
In an effort to improve reliability, inspections, and safety, Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ) developed LineScout Technology (LST), a robotic device able to inspect high-voltage transmission lines across long passages. IREQ worked extensively with BCTC to implement LST on BCTC’s large water crossing transmission lines, some of which were built more than 30 years ago and pose unusual challenges during inspection.
"At Hydro-Québec, we strongly believe that true innovation is a product of open collaboration," said Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec's President and CEO. “Our Research Institute has been committed to working with utilities from around the world for 40 years now. Receiving the esteemed Edison Award for our work with BCTC on the LineScout Technology gives us the opportunity to reconfirm our deep commitment to our clients, our partners and the electrical industry.”
The remote-controlled robot uses cameras to inspect line conditions and discover irregularities, while also employing a smart navigation system to pinpoint locations in need of attention. The LST is able to maneuver obstacles such as splices, hardware components and aviation warning markers. Unlike with conventional transmission line servicing, the robot can service the lines while they are energized, saving precious company resources, reducing safety risks and downtime.
"BCTC believes in the value of technology - how it can benefit the people of British Columbia, improve employee and public safety, and ensure we get the most from the transmission grid," said Janet Woodruff, BCTC's Interim President. "The Edison Award is a great honor and a testament to our dedication to technology, innovation, and the power of partnerships to harness the possibilities of the grid."
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular hydropower, and supports the development of wind energy through purchases from independent power producers. It also conducts research in energy-related fields, such as energy efficiency. For more information, visit www.hydroquebec.com.
Next October, Hydro-Québec will host the 2010 1st International Conference on Applied Robotics for the Power Industry (CARPI 2010). For information on the event, visit: http://www.carpi2010.org/index.php?lang=en.
BC Transmission Corporation is the Crown corporation responsible for managing the province's publicly owned electrical transmission system and moving electricity from where it is generated to where it is needed. Under BC’s new Clean Energy Act, BCTC and BC Hydro will become a single entity that will plan and deliver the clean energy required to meet British Columbia’s growing demand for electricity. For more information, visit www.bctc.com.
STACEY MASSON, HQ, 514-289-2311
JASON KEENAN, BCTC, 604-699-7445