Alstom, Cisco to join on digital substation automation

Paris, August 28, 2012 — Alstom Grid and Cisco signed a commercial and technology agreement to develop the next generation of digital substation solutions for electrical grids.

The joint solution, which integrates Cisco's substation-grade Connected Grid routers and switches with communications and cyber-security functions along with Alstom's DS Agile control system for substation automation, will create integrated cyber security, distributed monitoring and controls. This will provide key energy and information transfer hubs within modern grid architectures.

The benefits for electric utilities and substation operators include:

1. Enhanced security in smart grid-enabled digital substations: The Alstom-Cisco solution enables utility operators to provide comprehensive protection to address security policies, manage user access to critical resources, and the ability to detect and mitigate possible cyber attacks across the entire grid infrastructure.

The digital substation architecture incorporates comprehensive security controls based on National Institute of Standards and Technology and International Electrotechnical Commission recommendations.

2. Enhanced operational efficiency through optimized automation architecture: This layered architectural approach provides optimal deployment for substation automation and the design phase of technology implementation. It also allows easy design and integration of communication infrastructure with the critical protection and control, asset monitoring and grid management equipment.

The intelligence within the validated digital substation schemes will allow close monitoring of the load capacity of plant equipment and permits operation of grid equipment closer to their limits. Additionally, the substation network supports existing and new communication standards such as IEC 61850, as well as the prioritization of control data traffic over non-operations data traffic.

3. Reduced operations and maintenance costs: The joint digital substation solution, based on Cisco's multi-service network and Alstom's next generation IEDs, will provide utilities the flexibility to deploy multiple applications over a common network infrastructure.

The solution uses a layered architecture approach, enabling it to support both wired and wireless communications over the same converged network. The solution allows asset managers to implement preventive maintenance programs resulting in longer asset life and lower maintenance costs. The solution also provides intelligent systems for substation operators to monitor and control all substation assets for optimizing operations costs.

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