T&D World Magazine

Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative Builds Smart Grid Network with Exalt

Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative has deployed Exalt microwave backhaul systems to deliver T1 and Ethernet traffic throughout its network and support IP initiatives such as smart grid.

Rushmore EPC began deploying microwave radio links in 1990, but the early adoption of SmartGrid technologies by one of its distribution members provided an opportunity for Rushmore EPC to rethink its microwave radio infrastructure beginning in 2007. The Cooperative’s legacy microwave systems were at the end of their life cycles, didn’t have enough capacity, or were proving too unreliable to handle the mixture of SCADA, remote control, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), voice, corporate e-mail, file sharing, and other data traffic.

The Rushmore EPC microwave network connects substations throughout its territory, as well as local member utility offices in Custer, Martin, Mission, Newell, Selby, Timber Lake, and Wall, South Dakota. In addition to high reliability and performance, the Exalt systems provide secure SNMPv3 management, making it easy to manage the systems from a single console at the Cooperative’s operations center in Rapid City, South Dakota. Rushmore EPC has deployed Exalt fast Ethernet and gigabit Ethernet systems in indoor and split-mount configurations. The systems were provided by Exalt partner Calhoun Communications of Sioux City, Iowa.

All Exalt microwave backhaul systems – indoor, outdoor, and split-mount – offer guaranteed link availability, guaranteed throughput and low, constant latency. Systems are available in world bands from 2 to 40 GHz and in capacities from 10 Mbps to more than 1000 Mbps per channel, providing a range of options to fit countless network applications. Designed to enable a smooth transition to IP, they offer native support for both TDM and Ethernet, and are fully software configurable and upgradeable. For easy and secure management using third-party network management systems, Exalt systems support SNMP v1, v2c and v3. Data security is provided by available FIPS 197-compliant AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption that adds zero latency to the transmission. To simplify installation and maintenance, all Exalt systems feature an embedded manual and most include a built-in spectrum analyzer.

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