• Burbank Water and Power selects Tropos wireless mesh network for smart grid communications
SUNNYVALE, CA, Nov. 29, 2010 -- Tropos Networks, the leader in high reliability outdoor wireless IP networks, was selected by Burbank Water and Power (BWP) as a key element in their Smart Grid network of networks. To improve service and empower its 51,000 electricity customers to use energy wisely, BWP is implementing comprehensive Smart Grid systems across the utility's entire coverage area. Tropos' GridCom® architecture will be used as the high performance wireless distribution area network, providing secure connectivity for multiple utility Smart Grid applications. Key goals of the Smart Grid initiative include enabling customer energy efficiency and demand response, improving operational efficiencies, reducing CO2 emissions, supporting Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs), and integrating renewable energy sources to meet California's mandate of 33 percent renewable power by 2020.
BWP's Smart Grid investment is estimated at $62M with rollout planned over the next three years. The program is funded by BWP and a $20 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG). BWP has recently completed its Smart Grid proof of concept phase that includes 900 Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) meters, portions of the Tropos GridCom® network, a Meter Data Management System (MDMS) and an Outage Management System (OMS). Following the successful Tropos and AMI proof of concept, BWP is proceeding with deployment of the Citywide Tropos wireless network, which is integrated with an extensive existing fiber optic network. When completed, the Tropos network will provide communications for utility electric and water AMI, distribution automation, customer energy demand response, distributed generation and mobile data to the BWP field workforce. In addition, BWP expects to make the network available to other city departments, including potentially police, fire, and traffic.
Upcoming Smart Grid program phases include full AMI deployment to all customers, distribution automation, demand response, thermal energy storage systems at select customer sites, and new control systems. Several retail services are planned that utilize the Smart Grid to enable energy efficiency, demand management and other programs that will give customers greater information and control over energy usage. BWP does not expect to raise rates to fund the program; instead, it will cover costs with the SGIG, cost reductions related to operational efficiency improvements, and selling services utilizing excess capacity on its communication systems.
"We've researched a wide range of Smart Grid technologies over the past few years and understand that a highly reliable and secure distribution area network is an essential core of any Smart Grid," said Bruce Hamer, Smart Grid program manager at BWP. "Ultimately we needed a highly reliable and resilient system with strong security, sub 20 millisecond latency and at least 5 Mbps bandwidth. Tropos' wireless network was the only one that met these performance criteria while maintaining the flexibility to support multiple applications."
"We applaud BWP's vision in building a comprehensive Smart Grid communications strategy, which will carry them well into the future and provide a strong foundation for multiple applications that improve their operations and service level to their customers," said Tom Ayers, president and CEO of Tropos Networks.
Tropos® Networks is the worldwide market leader in wireless systems and technology used to create the most reliable outdoor IP networks. Its solutions create greener, safer, smarter communications foundations for deployment of multiple high-value applications that increase efficiencies and reduce operational costs within communities. Greener -- smart grids and intelligent transportation systems. Safer -- mobile public safety communications and IP video surveillance. Smarter -- enabling mobile workers to access information from the field. As a proud supporter of American Forests's Global Relief effort, Tropos is planting a tree for each router sold to help build a greener future for our planet. The company was founded in 2000 and has more than 800 customers in over 30 countries. Tropos headquarters are in Sunnyvale, California. For networking the smart grid, check out: www.tropos.com.