GE Digital Energy has signed a 10-year strategic agreement to supply the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA; Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.) with Multilin Universal Relay (UR) products for its existing and future substations. The Multilin UR protection and control products serve as the engine for industrial and utility substation automation systems. These products will monitor and protect TVA's power system from failures and outages.

The value of this agreement could be worth up to US$15 million.

TVA selected Multilin UR products following a rigorous evaluation of the top global protection and control vendors. When TVA opened its bid in 2007, it required a solution that provided the most advanced substation protection technology available, reduced copper wiring to save on maintenance and installation costs, adhered to NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection cyber-security compliance, and most importantly, had the flexibility to apply this platform across all substation applications.

The Multilin UR products not only met all of TVA's criteria, but also offered comprehensive support for IEC 61850, the international standard for substation communication that reduces construction and design costs and will allow TVA to upgrade to future technology without having to replace its existing infrastructure.

GE Digital Energy began collaborating with TVA in 2005 on its innovative Bradley Substation project, the world's first multi-vendor IEC 61850 500-kV substation test site. The goal of this project was to develop a substation with dramatically less wiring and improved communications, ultimately decreasing costs and increasing power system reliability. The flexibility of Multilin's URs and the product's ability to seamlessly integrate and operate with other vendors' relays and software was key to the success of the project. This was a great team effort between TVA, GE Digital Energy and other dedicated, innovative vendors. The result was a state-of-the-art substation that will help TVA provide highly reliable power to its customers.