Avista's Spokane Smart Circuits Project was chosen by the DOE to receive the largest matching grant in the state of Washington, totaling $20 million. Avista will contribute $22 million for a total planned project investment of $42 million. The overall project includes the deployment of a distribution management system, intelligent end devices and a communications network along 59 distribution circuits and 14 substations, benefiting more than 110,000 electric customers.

Tropos Networks, which provides IP broadband mesh network systems, will provide smart grid distribution area communications network. The network, part of Avista's Smart Circuits Project planned for the Spokane service area, will reduce energy losses, lower system costs, increase reliability and enhance the utility's ability to integrate distributed renewable-generation resources. In addition, the project is targeted to provide energy savings of 42,000 MWh and a reduction in carbon emissions of 14,400 tons annually.

The implementation of Tropos' GridCom mesh network system will deliver 24/7 real-time communications between substation controllers and grid devices such as reclosers, switches and faulted circuit indicators. Avista will be able to quickly pinpoint faults in its distribution network, significantly improving system reliability.

For more information, visit gridcom.tropos.com.