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Power Utilities Testing, Certification and Assessment

Serving electric utilities globally through sourcing conformant products and assessing conformant products directly.

Electrical power distribution and transmission tower with wind turbines and solar panels

Overview

The power utility market, which has generated and delivered safe, reliable and affordable electricity for decades, is now undergoing its largest transformation. Evolving from centralized generation, one-way electricity flow systems to modern, communication-enabled, smart systems, power utilities are innovating to meet new customer, environmental and business challenges.

The modernization of the world’s electric grids is a critical enabler for achieving the societal benefits that come from optimizing the way we generate, distribute and use electricity. Smart electrical grids, capable of bidirectional electricity and data flow, are a cornerstone of smart cities.

The integration of distributed energy resources (DER) and renewable energy generation sources is creating new opportunities and challenges for both system operators and customers. The influx of the Industrial Internet of Things (IioT) has allowed customers to make better informed decisions about when and how to use electricity, but also has increased the number of cybersecurity threat vectors for utilities. The widespread deployment of smart devices has allowed utilities to capture enormous amounts of data, and the recent application of artificial intelligence to these data troves is bringing new insights to optimizing grid operations and customer engagement.

As our power utilities continue to evolve and innovate technically, the need for safety, security and reliability remain of top importance. Now, more than ever, testing and certification of all product and system attributes are needed.

Services

We give you access to a global network of technical experts who understand local, regional and national requirements and who serve as a trustworthy single source for your testing, verification, certification and compliance needs.

We help you determine and understand applicable market requirements. We work with our utility customers and with state regulators to identify, define, develop and assess compliance with relevant safety, performance, interoperability and security requirements. We are able to help utilities understand how to customize testing and conformance programs directly for a utility with respect to the relevant technical requirements.

We work with product manufacturers to certify many utility-owned or interconnected products -including connectors, insulated connectors,meters, inverters, transformers, switch gear, large-scale storage, PV and wind– for product safety. We also provide performance verification services to product manufacturers, including American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.1 and C12.20 for smart meters and California Rule 21 for advanced inverter functionality for smart inverters. Additionally, we provide interoperability testing services, such as Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 2030.5 (SEP 2.0), to manufacturers.

We also work directly with utilities in situations where previously compliant products are unavailable, or the utility’s needs and specifications are not addressed by available technical requirements. Our customized research, testing, Verification and field evaluation programs are designed to assess the safety, performance, interoperability or security of a product or system according to the utility’s own specifications. Each program is customized to address the critical product or system attributes, and the impact that each utility’s unique installation and use environment dictates.

Areas of expertise

We provide services for the following power utility product categories:

  • Electric vehicle charging systems
  • Energy storage systems
  • Inverters
  • Large format batteries
  • Photovoltaics
  • Smart meters
  • Wind turbines

Why UL

Our global presence enables us to serve utilities throughout the world. Our worldwide marketplace expertise enables us to help utilities obtain conformant products and systems from around the world that meet the unique specifications of the utility for safety, performance, interoperability and security.

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