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Significant infrastructure improvements completed in New England

By Max Burkhalter
December 2, 2013

Northeast Utilities announced the completion of a $718 million project to upgrade network infrastructure between Connecticut Light & Power and Western Massachusetts Electric, two of its subsidiaries. According to The Hartford Business Journal, 39 miles of transmission lines between Bloomfield, Conn. and Ludlow, Mass., were improved, as well as more than 600 new structures built and 13 new or rebuilt substations and switching stations. The project, budgeted at $718 million, came in $40 million under budget and a month ahead of schedule.

The project signifies a major transition to smart grid improvements and related technology in New England. Proper infrastructure, complete with serial to Ethernet converter and terminal server solutions, will bring the northeast's power grid into a more sustainable, efficient future. An additional three projects in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are currently being planned as part of a larger New England East-West Solutions transmission initiative in partnership with National Grid.

Improved grid infrastructure is a critical part of overall energy consumption and transmission improvements that are much needed across the nation. The deployment of smart grid efforts is guiding the nation to a brighter, greener future for utility providers, but firms have to ensure they are investing in the appropriate technologies to support Ethernet I/O needs and the related infrastructure improvements.

In order to truly optimize energy transmission, smarter deployment and optimized networks for the sending and receiving of power to consumers who are beginning to explore alternative generation sources, utilities also have to ensure they are focusing on the proper terminal servers to minimize latency from the substation to the home and facilitate the flow of information as well as energy. More homes are embracing power saving technologies and methods that reduce consumption and even feed power back into the grid, and providers have to be able to account for these new sources of information in order to provide the proper support, and billing, to these customers.

Ultimately, not all consumers are embracing the full potential of expanding power grids, but utility providers have to stay ahead of the game and meet their customers head on with the infrastructure necessary to support all their needs, regardless of if they are innovating with green technology or traditional power users - much like Northeast Utilities has begun to do.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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