NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2008 –- Crow Wing Power, Brainerd, Minn., recently reached the one-year mark in a project implementing a 700 MHz licensed wireless broadband communication network from Arcadian Networks.
The Crow Wing Power electric cooperative, which serves 36,000 members in ruralnorth central Minnesota, has deployed substation communications over the Arcadian Network to support delivery of substation automation communication, advanced metering, and energy efficiency programs.The project places Crow Wing at the forefront of cooperatives deploying Smart Grid strategies and two-way infrastructure communication.
In August 2007, Crow Wing Power was looking to expand on its two-way advanced metering programs while updating communications with its rural substations. Challenges included a tight project timelineand the logistical challenges posed by harsh winter weather conditions in northern Minnesota.
“We needed a secure and reliable network to support distribution substation system communications and, after considering and comparing alternatives such as a microwave system, we concluded that Arcadian networks could best meet our needs across our widely dispersed service territory,” noted CrowWing IT Manager Todd O'Hotto.
Crow Wing's power supplier, Great River Energy, told them about the Arcadian broadbandcommunications solution recently put in place by other Great River Energy members, includingConnexus, Todd-Walena, and Agralite Electric.
“When we realized how easy it could be for us to just plug into the Arcadian network connection ports and get up and running, we knew we'd found a winning solution,” said O'Hotto. Beginning in October 2007, Crow Wing began connecting to the Arcadian licensed broadband network for two-way wireless data communication with 25 substations, supplying around 55,000 customer members. Most substations were up and running by June 2008.
“As we finish making all infrastructure improvements by this winter, we already see great benefits from the Arcadian platform,” said O'Hotto. “By reducing our costs to supply power, we can keep charges lower for our consumer members while ensuring reliable service delivery. The network has proven itself to be a secure and reliable foundation for our smart grid efforts and smart business in support of our membership.”
About Crow Wing Power
The Crow Wing Power electric cooperative serves 36,000 members in rural north central Minnesota, distributing electricity over 4,700 miles of line, serving seven customers per mile. Crow Wing is one of more than 1000 a cooperatives comprising the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
About Arcadian Networks
Arcadian Networks provides “last mile” wireless carrier services to the energy sector (electric, water,and gas utilities and oil and gas companies). The company's 700 MHz licensed spectrum delivers a converged IP network with voice and data communications for fixed and mobile applications. The real-time broadband communications platform reduces operational costs, improves resiliency, and transforms electric grids into efficient “smart grids” and oil fields into optimized “smart fields”. For more information, please visit www.arcadiannetworks.com
The McDonnell Group, Inc.