Case Analysis: the Early Bird – Electric Power Load Despatching

1027 WordsJan 3, 20125 Pages
Case Analysis: The Early Bird – Electric Power Load Despatching The Early Bird – Electric Power Load Dispatching Electric utility firms have, for more than two decades, used marginal productmarginal cost concepts to generate and dispatch electric power in a more efficient, lowercost manner. Southern Company, the nation’s third largest utility, refers to its load dispatching method as the “Early Bird” system. Southern’s Early Bird is designed to provide automatic, computerized control of all the company’s power production and transmission facilities. The Early Bird continuously calculates the marginal cost of delivering additional kilowatts of electricity to Southern Company customers anywhere in the company’s service area; then, as…show more content…
On the other hand, if Southern’s marginal costs are lower than those of its neighbors, then it may agree to sell a block. The exchange of electricity among interconnected companies based upon marginal cost calculations is common throughout the electric utility industry. As bigger and faster computers have become available, the functions of the Early Bird system have been expanded to permit. 1. Reductions in unnecessary “load-chasing,” with resultant savings on maintenance; 2. Monitoring the current operating status of generating units, line flows, voltages, station breakers, and switches as a basis for assessing the prevailing degree of security (reliability) within the system: 3. Altering the dispatch criteria to allow for reducing power output at a particular facility because of unexpected air or thermal pollution, yet doing so in a way which entails the least increased costs to the system; 4. Operating hydro, steam, combustion, and nuclear generating units in a mix which seeks to minimize fuel costs; and 5. Monitoring temperatures, oil pressures, stream flows, and so on at unattended hydro stations to give early notification of potential

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