Harris Corp. has been awarded a five-year contract to provide a wide-area network that will help detect and avert regional electrical system disturbances in a service area that extends from Canada through 14 western U.S. states.
The private network will enable the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), a forum for promoting regional electric service reliability, and other participating entities, to take timely actions to avoid widespread system blackouts.
The Harris network is key to the implementation of the Western Interconnection Synchrophasor Program (WISP), whose goal is to install more than 250 new or upgraded Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) across the region. These synchrophasors can identify and analyze system vulnerabilities in real time, and can detect evolving disturbances in the region's bulk electric system. In addition to detecting electric system disruptions, synchrophasor technology can help companies see and manage intermittent renewable resources.
Harris initially will provide the low-latency, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network between 18 Western power utilities at 29 different sites and two large WECC data centers. The WECC is the largest and most diverse North American Electric Reliability Corporation Regional Entity. The system is scheduled for completion in 2013.