OG&E has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build a private wide-area network to support its smart grid implementation. The company also announced the choices of Osmose Utilities Services, Inc., to conduct a complete inventory of its distribution network from substation to smart meter and the ABB Group to provide a distribution management system (DMS) for the program.

The announcements came after detailed competitive bidding processes to provide these critical elements of OG&E's Positive Energy Smart Grid program, which was launched in Norman, Oklahoma, earlier this year. The program was approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission on July 1, for full deployment across OG&E's service territory during the next three years.

Alcatel-Lucent will work with OG&E's WAN team to build a multi-tiered communications network across the utility's 30,000 square mile service territory. The network will include a 6.0 gigahertz, point-to-point microwave backbone system, plus a 3.65 gigahertz point-to-multipoint layer. The WAN will transport two-way data traffic from smart devices on the power delivery distribution system to enable real-time automation and advanced metering. It is a core element of the overall smart grid communications network that supports automation devices on the electricity distribution system, the local area network of smart meters, and any smart devices in customer homes or businesses.

Osmose has teams already in the field in Oklahoma, conducting a comprehensive inventory of OG&E's facilities on the distribution system to update, validate and correct any errors in its geographic information system (GIS) mapping system. The inventory will provide an accurate model to be used in the deployment of the DMS.

According to Grant, the deployment of smart grid equipment is the perfect opportunity to update OG&E records to increase the reliability and efficiency of the system.

OG&E's smart grid will include Network Manager, which is ABB's DMS product. The DMS is a centralized control system for processing data collected on the smart grid communications network. It will be used by operators to monitor, control and greatly improve the effectiveness of OG&E's distribution system.

The DMS includes advanced tools to monitor and control the distribution network, locate and isolate faults, prepare switching orders, regulate voltage and optimize the flow of reactive power to reduce losses and reduce energy demand during peak demand periods.