Salt River Project deploys packet-optical transport system for utility network

Arizona public power utility and water supplier Salt River Project (SRP) will deploy the 6500 Packet-Optical platform from Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) in its backbone fiber-optic network, the optical transport systems provider says. The utility requires the network upgrade in keep pace with the bandwidth requirements of its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), grid automation, and storage traffic, Ciena explains.

Arizona public power utility and water supplier Salt River Project (SRP) will deploy the 6500 Packet-Optical platform from Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) in its backbone fiber-optic network, the optical transport systems provider says. The utility requires the network upgrade in keep pace with the bandwidth requirements of its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), grid automation, and storage traffic, Ciena explains.

SRP also hopes to leverage the network to support such applications as smart meters and substation automation, to enable real-time information monitoring and control, and to provide increased electric-system reliability, improved power quality, and faster service restoration capabilities. SRP provides electricity to more than 990,000 retail customers in a 2900-square-mile service across three Arizona counties, including the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

“This upgrade enables us to modernize our network with greater automation and reliability so that we can accommodate our customer’s demands for high-bandwidth services and applications,” says Chris Campbell, manager of communications engineering at SRP.

“SRP is at the front-end of utilities building smarter, more scalable networks to enable a more efficient and reliable power grid,” Jason Phipps, general manager and vice president, North American field operations at Ciena. “Ciena’s converged packet optical solution plays a key role in their network modernization efforts by enabling them to support key applications like smart meters and substation automation.”

An increasing number of utilities see advanced fiber-optic networks as a necessary step toward “smart grid” capabilities (see “Fiber and the smart grid”). For example, EPB, which has deployed a fiber to the home network in Chattanooga, TN, to offer 1-Gbps services, also uses its fiber infrastructure for smart grid capabilities (see “EPB, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs partner for smart grid via FTTH”).

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