Salt River Project Rolls Out 1,300 Square-Mile Field Area Network

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Salt River Project has begun rolling out a 1,300 square-mile Field Area Network project in Arizona in collaboration with their partner company, MiMOMax Wireless.

The ten-year rollout of radio communication solutions will provide visibility over SRP’s large-scale network of industrial infrastructure. Enabling centralized monitoring and control of its distributed water and power systems, SRP’s new FAN will also be used to monitor and control power flows into and out of the grid from a number of advanced solar installations.

SRP acquired 2 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz Upper A Block in 2015 and put out a tender for a partner to provide the communications infrastructure for the new FAN. With available spectrum being both scarce and expensive, the challenge for SRP was to find a partner who could maximize their data throughput in a narrowband channel – the key point of difference offered by the MiMOMax Wireless technology.  Utilizing MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology and offering very low latency, the MiMOMax Wireless solution optimizes data throughput and allows for rapid feedback on the state of the network.

“The Salt River Project FAN has been a really engaging project to work on for our team due to both the sheer scale of the rollout and the new product and software developments which have emerged from our collaboration with SRP.  We feel this project perfectly highlights our ability to provide robust and reliable solutions for critical industry infrastructure,” says Paul Reid, GM North America of MiMOMax Wireless.

For this three-county project, which includes the metropolitan Phoenix area, MiMOMax Wireless will deploy thousands of radios to provide connectivity to a multitude of SCADA, solar inverter and remote fault devices in SRP’s network. 

Having proven their communications technology with deployments for other US utility customers, the organization is confident they have created the right solution for their primary American customer.  “At MiMOMax, our focus is on a “work with” approach.  Our team of engineers collaborated with the engineers at SRP to ensure the technology we deliver now and into the future is customized to meet their needs,” says Reid. 

On the back of the SRP project, MiMOMax Wireless continues to gain traction in the 700 MHz market with additional projects in their inception phase.  The organization, which is headquartered in New Zealand, also recently established an office in Phoenix, Arizona to provide in-country sales and support.   Having received significant support from the New Zealand government during their roll-out into the US, MiMOMax were pleased to welcome representatives from NZ Trade & Enterprise and New Zealand's Ambassador to the United States, Tim Groser, to the company's office opening event in Phoenix at the end of last month. 

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