T&D World Magazine

Glendale Water and Power Selects Tropos GridCom for Smart Grid Initiative

Tropos’ GridCom architecture has been selected as a core element of Glendale Water & Power’s Smart Grid Initiative. GridCom is based on Tropos’ wireless broadband mesh network system and will be used as the utility’s private distribution area network to deliver high-speed communications among the utility, utility applications and utility customers.

Investments in GWP’s Smart Grid Initiative total $51 million, $20 million of which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Glendale’s mayor, Ara Najarian, commented, “Glendale is honored to be the first city in the nation to receive funding from the $3.4 billion in grants the DOE announced last October for modernization of the nation’s power infrastructure. It is a significant step toward updating our utility foundation and in creating jobs within our community.”

The DOE Smart Grid funding has enabled GWP to accelerate its implementation and expand the project scope which will eventually include other Smart Grid applications such as distribution automation and power outage management. The Initiative will help GWP provide its customers with real-time access to their power usage to help them conserve energy and save on bills. To reduce water loss, leak detection sensors will be installed across GWP’s entire water system enabling 24 x 7 monitoring.

“The high throughput, extremely low latency and network security features of the Tropos network enables it to provide secure communications for multiple Smart Grid applications,” said Craig Kuennen, GWP Project Sponsor. “It will enable us to extend the system way beyond meter reading and help us build our vision of Glendale’s Smart Grid – a power system which can automatically balance power supply and demand, conserve and optimize resources, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce cost for our customers.”

The smart meter portion of GWP’s Smart Grid Initiative includes replacement of 84,500 electric and 33,400 water meters with smart meters. For electric meters, Itron’s smart grid local area network (LAN) technologies, part of its OpenWay smart grid platform, will be used. For water meters, Water SaveSource, Itron’s advanced water metering and leak detection solution has been selected. Tropos’ GridCom will be deployed as the utility’s private distribution area network for reliable, ubiquitous wireless communications across the 30 square miles of the utility’s service area and is a foundation upon which GWP can build additional smart grid applications. Combined, this architecture will facilitate high-speed, secure communications between GWP and individual customer’s smart meters. KEMA, a leading energy consulting, testing, and certification firm, will be overseeing rollout of GWP’s Smart Grid Initiative, providing project management and multi-vendor system integration services.

The Initiative will be implemented in phases starting with a demonstration of the smart meter project components in spring 2010. This first phase includes installation of a meter data management (MDM) system, Itron Enterprise Edition MDM (IEE MDM); 1,000 smart power meters; 500 smart water meters; and 300 in-home displays; all of which will utilize Tropos’ GridCom network for communications.

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