For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385
Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced the completion of its Recovery Transformer (RecX) program and published a final report that contains lessons learned, evaluations, and considerations for a spare transformer strategy to support our nation’s electric grid.
RecX is a mobile spare extra high voltage (EHV) transformer designed to be rapidly deployed in the event of a transformer failure. Development of the prototype RecX was completed in 2011by the manufacturer ABB and the Electric Power Research Institute. The RecX was successfully field tested in CenterPoint Energy’s grid in March 2012. The field test demonstrated RecX’s rapid deployment speed by reducing the time needed to transport, install, and energize from the typical 8-12 weeks to less than six days.
In April 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) released their Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which highlights the significant risks associated with EHV transformers. The QER recommends that “DOE should lead—in coordination with DHS and other Federal agencies, states, and industry—an initiative to mitigate the risks associated with the loss of transformers” including the “development of one or more transformer reserves through a staged process.” Part of this development process requires assessing “technical specifications for reserve transformers” and how reserve transformers should be stored and deployed.
DHS S&T’s work through the RecX program specifically addresses these issues. The RecX final report is “an assessment of recommended practices and guidance …when implementing enhanced emergency spare transformer programs” and discusses functional specifications for recovery transformers, evaluation of existing spare transformer strategies, and considerations for developing new ones.
By transitioning S&T’s RecX program, DOE can leverage DHS S&T’s findings and recommendations as the initial foundation of a national spare transformer strategy.