Pullman, Washington—One of the country’s leading manufacturers of power systems technology has won the U.S. Energy Association Project of the Year award for bringing safe, reliable electricity to two villages in Brcko, a major municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
USEA Senior Director Will Polen, who selected Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories as a partner on the pilot project with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will present the award to SEL President Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, in a ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Pullman on August 18.
“SEL is dependable, and its technology for the Brcko project has changed lives. The citizens of Brcko suffered frequently from electricity outages caused by weather events and technical malfunctions. But no more,” Polen said. “And while this project was a small intervention, it has served as a proof of concept that can be replicated and scaled up throughout southeast Europe. We plan to share this technology with other municipalities in the region.”
USEA works with USAID to help expand energy infrastructure and bring energy resources to developing countries and emerging economies.
Under the Brcko project, USAID and USEA provided support for engineering and training to integrate the Schweitzer technology into the Brcko electricity distribution network. Schweitzer provided equipment, consulting support and additional engineering services.
USEA, Schweitzer, and the municipal government of Brcko have monitored the impact of the Schweitzer technology on network reliability for the past year, post installation. The technology has reduced outages by half, and there has been a 50 percent reduction in the duration of the outages.
“We work hard to design and build safe, reliable, and economical solutions that improve the lives of people around the world,” said Schweitzer. “We were honored to be a part of this project and to be able to dramatically improve power reliability for the city of Brcko, and this is just the beginning! Thank you to the USEA for recognizing our work with this award.”
SEL has brought its technology to energy projects globally for 35 years.
USEA and USAID plan to share the Brcko success story with regional distribution working groups in southeast Europe to ensure other distribution companies are aware of the opportunity and innovation.