T&D World Magazine

Co-op Deploys Broadband Network

East Central Energy (ECE; Braham, Minnesota, U.S.) is deploying a Smart Grid-ready communications system linking 36 substations with a 700-MHz licensed wireless broadband communication network from Arcadian Networks (Elk River, Minnesota), made possible through a partnership with the cooperative's wholesale power supplier Great River Energy (Maple Grove, Minnesota).

Information accessibility and security across its widely dispersed network are two of the biggest priorities for ECE, which delivers power to more than 57,000 homes, farms and businesses across challenging terrain in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“We liked the idea of a private network and had considered putting in our own wireless system,” said Linda LaTourelle, ECE's IT manager overseeing the transition to the Arcadian solution. “When we studied the capabilities of the Arcadian system, we saw that it brought the security, privacy and reliability we wanted along with a strong ongoing return on our investment.”

ECE has completed the installation at 32 substation and expects to complete the roll out by the end of the year.

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