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JPS to deliver US$3.4-million power delivery system upgrade

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
The Jamaica Public Service is carrying out a multimillion-dollar upgrade to its system.

Thousands of Jamaica Public Service (JPS) customers in St Andrew, Trelawny and St Ann will be among the first to benefit from a US$3.4-million upgrade to the company's power delivery system, stated Blaine Jarrett, vice-president for engineering.

The upgrade is to be on a phased basis and includes the installation of new infrastructure on the power grid, which will result in a more reliable electricity supply.

"One element of the system upgrade project involves the standardisation of the voltage at which power is transmitted from JPS substations," Jarrett said.

"By having more of our main power lines transmitting at the same voltage level, we are better able to transfer loads if there is a problem on one power line. This will provide several benefits for customers, including a reduction in the number and duration of power outages."

Jarrett indicated that the system upgrade will support JPS's Smart Grid vision, as it will incorporate the roll-out of technology that supports greater automation on the grid.

He stated that the project will maximise the benefits of distribution automation switches, which are now being installed. These switches, he said, will facilitate automatic fault isolation and supply restoration, and enhance troubleshooting capabilities.

"This will reduce the need for extensive manual checking and switching of lines, and allow us to respond more quickly to problems on the system," Jarrett said.

JPS crews have been working since late 2016 on the main power lines connected to the Duncans and Martha Brae substations in Trelawny, the Roaring River substation in St Ann and the Hope substation in St Andrew, which is scheduled for completion later this week.

"The completion will involve extensive work on the main and lateral lines to fully integrate the upgraded feeders," Jarrett said.