Arcadian Networks has announced that Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative and Agralite Electric Cooperative, two electric utilities located in central Minnesota, have joined its 700 MHz communications network to monitor and manage meter information across their dispersed service area.
Todd-Wadena and Agralite, distribution members of Great River Energy, serve a broad customer base covering 12 counties in rural Minnesota. In total, the two co-ops serve over 14,000 customers in the Central and West Central Minnesota region with coverage spanning over 3,700 square miles. These co-ops, which previously used analog systems for their communication networking needs, will use Arcadian Networks' secure, wireless communications solution to collect, monitor and respond to data traveling through over 4,500 miles of power line and 30 substations in real time.
Todd-Wadena and Agralite are two of Great River Energy's 28 member electric cooperatives located in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Other electric cooperatives to join Arcadian Networks' 700 MHz network include Connexus Energy and Stearns Electric Association, which have also employed the wireless platform to accomplish smart metering throughout their Minnesota coverage area. As a provider of electric service to approximately 1.7 million people, Great River Energy is the second largest wholesale electric power supplier in Minnesota and the fifth largest generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative in the U.S. Arcadian Networks launched its 700 MHz network with Great River Energy as its anchor tenant in April 2006 and continues to work with its member co-ops to help transform the Minnesota electric system into a Smart Grid.
Allen Schmitz, a STAR Energy Services, IT Support Specialist for Todd-Wadena and Agralite stated, "Through the implementation of a wireless communications platform, we can operate and expand our customer network knowing that we have a fast, secure and resilient communications infrastructure in place to ensure the most efficient delivery of electricity. We chose Arcadian Networks because the company has pioneered the delivery of secure, IP-based communications for utilities with dispersed assets and has demonstrated the strength and viability of its network through its rollout with Great River Energy and other co-ops in the rural U.S. We are eager to further our automation and meter reading capabilities by employing sub-station automation as we continue to partner with Arcadian Networks for all our communications needs."
Ed Solar, CEO of Arcadian Networks, commented, "Electric utilities in rural parts of the country have a great need for today's most advanced wireless solutions. We are pleased to be playing such an integral role in building a stronger communications infrastructure for the many utilities that operate within these areas. Our company's 700 MHz platform is specifically suited to seamlessly integrate with utilities' existing communications infrastructure and Todd-Wadena and Agralite, like their sister co-ops, were able to quickly and cost effectively employ a stronger network to better serve their wide customer base. As a result of these rollouts, the co-ops are able carry out smart, two-way communications and next generation smart utility initiatives."