OG&E, a subsidiary of Oklahoma city-based OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE:OGE) and Oklahoma's largest electric utility, recently announced that it has selected Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to build a private wide area network (WAN) 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.
"We're glad to have these industry leaders on board for our program. Smart grid technology will benefit our customers, our employees and our shareowners," said Ken Grant, Managing Director of OG&E's smart grid program. "It will enable us to make better use of our existing infrastructure and help our customers use their power more wisely."
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.
Wide Area Network
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.
"OG&E wants its customers to have access to detailed energy usage patterns so they can make more informed decisions on usage," said Walt Paskowski, Vice President of Sales for Strategic Industries for Alcatel-Lucent. "As a leader in utility network transformation, we are helping OG&E build a powerful network that has the bandwidth to carry real-time consumption information essential for consumers to make smart choices."
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.
"A smart grid is powered by data-intensive information systems. The focus on verifying and optimizing the accuracy of this data demonstrates OG&E's commitment to making their smart grid deployment as effective as possible. Osmose is pleased to provide our GIS and fieldwork experience as an important element in bringing smart grid capabilities to OG&E and their customers," said Jeremy Sadler, Director - Technical Sales for Osmose.
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.
"Network Manager is an ideal platform for modern control centers to effectively manage and improve the performance of their electric network," said Salim Khan, senior vice president and general manager of ABB Network Management, North America. "We look forward to our partnership with OG&E on this strategic smart grid project to improve energy efficiency and system reliability."
"These tools will help to improve reliability and reduce the demand for power generation on the system, contributing to the company's goal to delay the building of another fossil fuel power plant until at least 2020," said Grant.
OG&E is Oklahoma's largest electric utility, serving more than 775,000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas.
OG&E selects partners to implement critical elements of its smart grid program