T&D World Magazine

VELCO to Build Next-Generation Communications Network for Vermont Grid

IBM and the Vermont Electric Power Co. have announced an agreement to build an intelligent fiber optic and Carrier Ethernet communications and control network across the state of Vermont. Spanning more than 1000 miles, this advanced fiber communications network will connect transmission substations to Vermont's distribution utilities, delivering reliable electric service and the capabilities required for the state's future smart grid.

IBM will provide project management and networking services, part of its Intelligent Utility Network solution, to help VELCO improve the state's electric infrastructure. This new system provides the communications capability to relay information back to the utility about usage, voltage, existing or potential outages, and equipment performance. Fiber transport and Carrier Ethernet systems will ensure reliability and security of the transmission network and allow utilities to improve power quality and avoid power outages or resolve them faster.

The communications network is based on Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Transport platform and extensive family of Carrier Ethernet Service Aggregation and Delivery switches. With its unique peer-to-peer architecture, the new network will meet the demanding reliability and security requirements necessary for Smart Grid, as well as provide additional bandwidth to support the eEnergy Vermont initiatives in progress throughout the state.

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