Cisco unveils new smart grid solutions that build on legacy products and experience

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Cisco (CSCO) has unveiled a new connected grid portfolio to support smart grid communications at the substation level.

The Cisco Connected Grid Router 2010 (CGR 2010) and the Cisco Connected Grid Switch 2520 (CGS 2520) are purpose-built products to help utilities more effectively provide electric power from generation facilities to homes and businesses, in an end-to-end environment.

These new routers and switches are not only rugged, but also extremely secure, allowing substations to integrate Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications with the power grid for intelligent monitoring and control.

Building on Cisco’s experience as a market leader in providing switches and routers to the power industry for more than 20 years, this is the first time that Cisco has packaged its products for the smart grid sector. Additionally, Cisco has experience securely supporting very large IP-based networks, such as healthcare and banking.

While the CGR 2010 and CGS 2520 are based on trusted Cisco technologies, the company endeavored to truly provide what was needed in the industry. To that end, Cisco teamed up with Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Enel of Italy and E.On of Germany to test and work with the products while integrating the needs of the smart grid.

“We want to create an end-to-end communications infrastructure that meets the operational efficiencies of the future,” explained Inbar Lasser-Raab, Senior Director Marketing, Borderless Networks & Smart Grid Solutions for Cisco. “The smart grid has to be based on intelligent communications, and these technologies are the first building block within the substation infrastructure to do that.”

Whether a utility is entrenched in the smart grid currently or is planning on making the transition in the near future, the CGR 2010 and CGS 2520 are capable of supporting substations through this transfer – and will help to develop a foundation that works toward a total smart grid deployment.

“We’re seeing smart grid efforts happening all over the world,” added Lasser-Raab. “Smart grid projects are about creating a digital infrastructure to support electricity distribution, and we’re providing the means to support this.”



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