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More Value from Your Advanced Grid Investment

Reduce project time and cost while improving system value.

Electric utilities face rapid change as rules are rewritten, public expectations conflict with sound planning and engineering, and efforts to ensure grid reliability are seen as blocking access and restraining potential.

Because 3M ACCR is an advanced transmission conductor designed to replace ACSR or ACSS on existing structures, you get up to two to three times the capacity, while delivering continued value to the shareholder and reducing ratepayer impacts from major construction projects.

  • reduce construction outages;
  • speed up and simplify permitting;
  • reduce project schedule;
  • increase budget certainty;
  • reduce contingencies;
  • minimize new environmental impacts on existing rights of way.
Apply These Benefits to Your Most complex Challenges
Renewable Energy
Upgrading transmission lines

Getting renewables to load centers using existing structures and rights of way, where feasible, has several benefits:

  • maximizing the use of existing assets, rights of way and investments,
  • minimizing disturbances to the environment and community,
  • reducing permitting, schedule and cost risks associated with construction, and
  • getting the upgrade done fast.
Case in Point:

In Europe, 3M ACCR is installed and operating on a 400 kV line, upgraded to accommodate renewable energy sources scheduled to come on line in the near future.

Building new lines

If new lines are necessary to bring renewables from remote areas to load centers, 3M ACCR can be installed on sections where permitting, environmental impacts, or aesthetics raise issues or cause delays. In those sections, 3M ACCR can be installed using existing, fewer or shorter structures. Then, construction can continue with conventional materials.

Case in Point:

A new line near Needles, California along the Colorado River would have needed permits from multiple government and regulatory bodies if standard conductor had been used. Because 3M ACCR could be installed on structures the same height as a nearby line, only one agency needed to be involved.

Smart Grid

Advanced transmission conductors like 3M ACCR can work in conjunction with technologies that store power, manage voltage stability and provide data to utilities and their customers. Together, these technologies can help utilities maximize the efficiency, reliability and security of the grid by providing alternate paths for switching between intermittent resources and conventional generation, opening access for renewable generation, and developing a robust system that can survive disruptions through alternative single and double contingency paths.

Case in Point:

A set of storms during the summer of 2008 resulted in downed power lines. The contingency line upgraded with 3M ACCR the year before kept the power flowing, providing reliable and secure service into a major U.S. metropolitan area during the emergency with no disruption.

EHV Overlay System

Transmission lines are usually rated using a single contingency standard, in which the rated capacity depends upon the ability of other lines in the path to support the system if the line is out of service. Therefore, the more robust the underlying system, the more energy is allowed to flow across the path. To get the maximum capacity, and the maximum value, from Extra High Voltage (EHV) investments, utilities must often upgrade lower voltage lines. The quickest, most cost effective and least impactful way is to reconductor using existing corridors and structures as much as possible. A more reliable system is a more valuable system.

Case in Point:

3M analyzed a potential transmission upgrade in which a non-U.S. utility proposed adding a double circuit 400 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to an existing 6-line transmission path. Because of the single contingency standard, the estimated capacity on the entire path would have been 2,250 Megawatts (MW) with the new line. However, by upgrading 4 of the 6 lines with ACCR instead, the total rated capacity of the path would have been 3,400 MW. If it builds the line, the utility could have made use of a higher percentage of the capacity because the existing lines were upgraded.

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