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February 07, 2011

PPL Electric Utilities Expands Smart Grid Network with Alvarion

By Rahul Arora
TMCnet Contributor

According to a recent announcement made by Alvarion Ltd., Pennsylvania's PPL Electric Utilities is deploying Alvarion's (News - Alert) BreezeMAX Extreme 3650 WiMAX solution as part of its smart grid communications network.

Enabled by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the communication network upgrade constitutes the first phase of PPL's smart grid project with initial coverage of more than 60,000 customers over 150 square miles in the company's Harrisburg, Pa., operating region. PPL also plans to deploy a new distribution management system.

In the future, PPL plans to expand coverage of distribution automation to its other operating regions across central and eastern Pennsylvania. PPL Electric Utilities serves more than 1.4 million customers."We are very pleased with the deployment progress of our next-generation smart grid communication network in our Harrisburg region around the state capital," said Matthew Green, smart grid program manager, PPL Electric Utilities, in a press release. "Alvarion's standards-compliant wireless broadband products have helped us create a robust and secure communication infrastructure in our network. This project enables us to completely transform the electric distribution system and introduce efficient energy optimization and outage management techniques that will benefit our customers."

PPL's smart grid project involves system upgrades geared toward operational improvements and enhanced service reliability. This helps PPL reduce service interruption time by integrating their outage and distribution management systems and metering infrastructure."The new, state-of-the-art IP based broadband communication infrastructure will help PPL Electric Utilities achieve its objectives of network modernization and service improvements for its customers," Kamal Ballout, global VP Energy Systems Integration division. "The success of this deployment lays the foundation for many more upcoming joint projects in the industry."We are confident Alvarion's field-proven 4G broadband wireless solutions will play a significant part in achieving PPL's desired objectives," said Eran Gorev, president and CEO of Alvarion. "We are very pleased to work with Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) on this important project as well. By working together, we can merge our complementary product portfolios and expertise to create exceptional smart grid solutions for utilities around the world."

PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corp., provides electric delivery service to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States.This is yet another achievement for Alvarion, who was also selected the next-generation, 4G wireless equipment supplier of KeyOn.

Rahul Arora is a TMCnet contributor. He has worked as an editor and freelance writer for several reputed organizations in India. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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