It’s been one year since Wright Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association integrated a comprehensive smart grid-enabling communications system built on a private spectrum wireless network from Arcadian Networks (News – Alert)
Arcadian Networks designs and delivers wireless broadband communication systems to the energy sector.
Wright Hennepin operates a fully supported communication platform for AMR and SCADA with a 700 MHz licensed wireless IP communications network that connects formerly “poor reliability” stations. According to Lance Hovland, vice president of energy distribution for Wright Hennepin, from a distribution side, smart grid reportedly means automation and communication of substation SCADA data plus advanced metering AMI/AMR to reach high levels of customer service.
Wright Hennepin serves about 45,000 electric accounts across two Minnesota counties. It explored many solutions to link widely dispersed substations. It first started out with all substations on a frame relay. When DSL became available, Wright Hennepin converted most substations to it. However, there were a few areas where neither was possible. Hence, Wright Hennepin started looking for a better option.
Hovland said when Great River Energy, the company’s generation and transmission supplier, put in a private licensed 700 MHz wireless system from Arcadian Networks for all of its substations, some base points were made available for the co-ops to use. Wright Hennepin tried out a private network with this opportunity.